I love to travel. It’s a good thing, since traveling has changed my life so much. It put me in a new country that has been my home most of my life. I didn’t move here. I traveled here. I wasn’t going to stay. I was only supposed to stay here for a few weeks, and then head back. I didn’t. In one of many life-altering decisions I’ve taken, I thought, why not. So I announced the fact to my parents. I had made my decision, and that was that. Then I proceeded to make one mistake after another, not all of them bad. One of them, excellent. I also traveled a bit, and that brings to mind today’s topic: what makes a shrunken man a good traveling companion?
1. After I tell him we’re going off for a couple of weeks, he’s happy. He asks questions about our plans, and takes little notes on his tiny notebook. Actual ink and paper. He loves those things. He writes down the dates, destinations, calculates mileage, highlights our path on a map (a real map), and marks points of interest with a bitty asterisk.
2. He makes a list of snacks for me, and for him. We don’t like to snack on the same things, except for Cheetos, and he only needs one of those. We both drink water, as traveling by car (our preferred method) can be very drying.
3. He inspects his travel cage. What? You didn’t think I was going to allow him to sit shotgun, unrestricted, unsafe, unwatched for most of the duration, did you? What’s the matter with you? I forgive you. Anyway, his travel cage is padded, and has grate doors on every side, so I can check on him, and we can look at each other every once in a while.
4. He makes a list of our favorite traveling songs, and makes sure the flash drive containing it is ready when we leave. He always includes tunes we both know, so we can sing together:
Slow – Depeche Mode
Drive Like Lightning (Crash Like Thunder) – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Caminando – Ruben Blades
Drive – The Cars
Apple – Funnel
Come With Me Now – Kongos
Being Alone Together – David & David
Crazy – Icehouse
Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson
Here To Stay – Korn (we love to sing that one at the top of his lungs)
Miles – Mother Mother
Man In A Suitcase – The Police
Round And Round – Ratt
Change – Tears For Fears
All I Want – Toad The Wet Sprocket
Don’t Want To Wait Anymore – The Tubes
…and many more.
5. He can ride quietly next to me. He doesn’t have to yap-yap-yap the entire time. His great economy with words reflects mine to perfection, and he knows when to enjoy the silence. We don’t have to say anything to say everything.
6. He gets out of the car with me when we stop at a rest area. We walk around a bit, I let him stretch his little legs (though he can walk around in his little cage), and we have a snack on a bench, in the sun. I take a picture or two of him as he tries to chew on a raisin. My gosh, he’s just adorable.
7. When we get to the hotel, I lift him to the front desk so he can do all the talking. It makes him feel very important (which he is) to do that. “Hi, we have a reservation.” “Yes. Undersquid. The best room.” “Yes, that’s my last name. Is there a problem?” “I’ll take the card key, thank you very much.” And he does. He carries that big, flat thing all the way to our room.
8. We unpack at the same time, but not before we try the shower. And the bed. Several times.
9. We try the bed again.
10. Why are we here?
11. Bed. Bedtime.
Credit for this blog entry idea goes to Aborigen.