Life’s Pincushion (Patty)

This is the week for everyone getting buried in life. I hope all of you are buried in your lives in the best ways – vacation, spending a few last lazy days of summer with your kids before school starts, drinking champagne by the pool or on a beach.

I wish I had visitors or I were going somewhere, but mine is the more mundane, work is killing me and it’s time critical kind of killing.  My left arm is also killing me since they shot me up with a bunch of immunizations today.  Hep A, Tetanus, polio, mmr.  Medicines for Typhoid, malaria. Cipro for whatever makes me really sick.  Doxycyline?  Don’t remember what that’s for.  Handheld UV Water purifier to zap all my non-iced water.

The thought of going 16 days without ice is causing me a little angst, but less angst than languishing in a hospital in Sikkim territory.  Is the alcohol safe to drink in India if I use a straw? Please tell me yes or I’ll have to plan for that too.

I could have skipped some of these, it turns out, maybe.  Mom filled me in, after the fact, that I have had measels and mumps, along with smallpox and something else.  Though they’d still want to boost all or most of those.

The thought of living out of a backpack with three changes of clothes and a toothbrush doesn’t even register at this point as being possible for me, but I”m pretty sure I’ll manage that.  The one thing I”m really happy I did is cash in a ton of mileage points so I can find some comfort in my airplane seat on the way there and back.  A couple of Ambien should get me home without even noticing I’m flying.

But no perfume? I think I’ll slip in something, but what?  Backpack space is at a premium so I can’t take much.  And should I take my normal size backpack or get one of those towering ones for more space? I mean, surely I’ll be picking up some stuff even in the back country, and I need someplace to put it. I know we are stopping at a market for all my shopping needs the day before we leave to come back, but I’m planning on buying a cheap suitcase or three and stuffing them full of silks and oils and everything else that flits by that’s shiny, pretty or smells good.  I’m thinking something bright and pretty for perfume, maybe something citrus?  This could be the hardest decision I have to make, so help me out.

I’m going to go back to drafting some really complicated documents for my day job and nursing my aching pincushion arm.  You all have a much more fun day than me, please!

  • March says:

    The Cheese takes Cipro with him to Burma and other exotic places and it has come in handy more than once.

  • tammy says:

    Cipro is the only antibiotic I am not allergic to, and while it doesn’t make me sick like it does many folks, it DOES make everything I eat taste horribly metallic.

    Enjoy your trip! I think I’d do as others have suggested and buy something there that you will forever associate with your trip.

  • minette says:

    good luck with the cipro. it ripped my insides out and gave me irritable bowel syndrome. really great poison as far as i’m concerned (and i’m not alone by a long shot).

    as far as scents go, something comforting, that lasts longer than a cologne, and maybe something energizing, like an essential oil blend. there is a nice-smelling natural oil mosquito repellent at whole foods – i use it at night here in houston, and it works. musette had really good packing tips up top.

    my former (iyengar) yoga instructor goes back to india all the time. you’ll be fine. enjoy!

  • Tara C says:

    I would personally rather expire than travel to India, but I wish you a wonderful trip!

  • Pattie says:

    Any chance you could end up here after roughing it?
    Is that the coolest bar ever?
    Have a great trip!

  • DinaC says:

    Since I’m biased toward green florals, I would suggest bringing along a great green that you love, whether that’s Cristalle, No. 19, Bulgari’s green tea, etc. Then, in contrast, something lush, floral and sweet like Carnal Flower for when you need a change.

    My family and I had to do the multiple immunization thing back in the 70s before we moved to Turkey. I remember how sore my arm felt, so I sympathize with you. Sadly, those vaccinations are not a magic shield. In spite of a typhoid shot, I caught paratyphoid and almost died of it when I was ten. Be really, really careful with everything you eat and drink. Shun lettuce and raw, unpeeled veggies in general. :-) Now that I’ve made you a nervous wreck, relax and have a great trip!

  • Kelly says:

    India! Patty, please bring back some wonderful Nag Champa oil/perfume. I’ve been known to rub my neck and arms with incense sticks… lol. I wish I could find some good ‘fume that’s not muddled up with “extras”… Have a great time!

  • Aparatchick says:

    Is the doxycycline for malaria?

    So, India! I’m green with envy – it’s on my “in the next five years list” and I’ve been reading books on India for a while now.

    I’m with Musette on packing btw. Pack light and if you need some other article of clothing buy it there. As my Mom told me years ago when we were packing for somewhere and I was trying to pack every single thing I thought I’d ever need, “the people who live there buy clothes.” Uh, yeah, so I guess I can too.

    Perfume? Isn’t this a chance to buy something there? I wonder what might be found there.

  • Karen G says:

    Oh, I’d just throw all caution to the winds and wear clouds of Shalimar. Anything light and citrusy isn’t going to stand a chance against the heat and myriad other smells (some unpleasant). Go big or go home, I say.

  • Shelley says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the perfume while there. The perfume *is* there. But when it comes to all those fabrics and such…

    …oh, my. You know about collapsible duffels, right? If it’s non-breakables you are bringing back–c.f. said fabric ;) –you could load up, with shiny things in the center. I say “load up” not because you are prone to shopping accidents, but of course, but because of the year’s worth of gifting you could cover….

    • Musette says:

      Year’s worth? She prolly won’t have to shop for decades! At least not for the lay-deez!

      And I agree with you, the perfume ‘is’ there – but sometimes you just want a little bit o’ home…..I always carry Brillante, even for the most inappropriate places (as I mentioned, horses HATE that stuff) – but after a long day in the stalls, Brillante just feels good apres-shower. I will be taking it to Britt, along with a vetiver-soaked fan.

      and how are you?

      xo >-)

  • Occhineri says:

    I spent two months traveling in India long before my perfume mania set in, and I ended up wearing a jasmine oil I bought there. There are so many amazing smells there, though, that you might want to *gasp* skip perfume. Oh, and there are shiny, pretty and good smelling things everywhere you turn, so you might need that bigger backpack.

  • Jemimagold says:

    After all the heat, dust and craziness, I think you will crave something clean and comforting. I’d suggest IUNX Eau Blanche and one of your HG’s that you find peaceful

  • karin says:

    OK…so, what did I miss? Why India, and what are you doing there? Would love to know the details. Exciting to visit such an exotic country. Exciting and life changing.

    As to scent, isn’t Majmua the obvious choice? So much talk of it lately, and it is from India afterall!

  • waftbycarol says:

    Oh , India ! Have a great time….and the attars you will find…I say get some mitti attar as soon as you get there and rock it the whole trip !
    Then when you get home , it will always remind you of India…

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Ooooh, so glad to hear the trip to India is finally going ahead! Poor you though with all those injections. That would really deter me (well, that and the backpack and the no perfume…..). I like the idea of hankies soaked in a little judicious Guerlain, though!

    Hope you have a marvellous trip xxx

  • Tatyana says:

    As far as I know from my friends, best perfumes for India should be strong enough, e.g. Carnal Flower and other oriental. Citruses just die in a moment.

  • You’ll be covered with bugs anyway. Perfume has other charms. Just spraying some on a tissue will help you feel OK at the end of the day. Sprayed on right before you shower will remind you of home. But India and hiking don’t make for heavy perfumes. I’d go with something you can stand to smell in heat that will poach your eyeballs. I’d go with a dry citrus or a green. Sisely’s Eau de Campagne, limp though it may be after its reformulation, is one that would stay interesting. Trefle Pur, a relatively new fragrance, is great for the heat. Diptyque’s Eau Hesperides, The Different Company’s Divine Bergamot all are multi-faceted enough to last and comfort.

  • emmaflannelflower says:

    Be careful with the perfume. Can attract mosquitoes, and they can carry nasty bugs like malaria. Sorry to tell ya.

  • ggs says:

    Wow India, hope you have a great time? Who posted this though? I can see no avatar or name in my browser at the bottom. Tom?
    Definitely sneak in some samples or small decants in your backpack though. Maybe Hermes Un Jardin Sur la Nil? And an incense?

    • Re-check the headline. At the end, in parenthesis, it says (Patty). That’s my guess.

    • Shelley says:

      ggs, I’ve noticed that the avatars+name at the bottom disappear when I click on the article itself in order to comment. Plus, someone said that they don’t show up in every theme available.

      • ggs says:

        You are right Shelley.
        I often read this site on a cell phone browser, and also on both Mozilla Firefox & Windows browsers at home, and for whatever reason, sometimes the avatar & author’s name “disappear”, especially in the “comments” mode.

  • Tara says:

    India. I am so jealous..backpack or not. I really want to travel around India, preferrably with one of my sons (when they get a little older). Have a great and inspirational time!!!

    As for perfume, for me I would want something that reminds me of home, like Dior Addict (my secret guilty pleasure) or maybe Michael Kors (another awesome guilty pleasure). They both just make me smile, and, at least to me, seem fun in an uncomplicated way.

  • Musette says:

    wait. YOU HAD SMALLPOX? I didn’t know you could even get smallpox anymore – I mean, not here. Certainly not in Kansas!

    Go real easy on the packing! The type of trip you are taking will require very few things – and what you don’t have can be picked up in a bazaar. A longish skirt, some walking shorts, a pair of pants. That’s it. I took the equivalent of a small carryon for 3 weeks in Kenya and only used 1/3 of it.

    do bring a small, crushable/foldable tote. For whatever reason. Those always seem to come in handy and they are NEVER available when you need them – next day, they are everywhere.

    I would take 😕 okay, you will think I am insane but I am thinking Chanel No 5 or Eau Premier. Do not ask me why.

    Or else Guerlain’s Imperiale, though that will fade in .032 seconds in the Indian heat.

    A couple of handkerchiefs soaked in that stuff, sealed in a baggie, would be a great extra.

    xoxo >-)

    • Patty says:

      OH, sorry, I meant chickenpox. I always get those two mixed up.

      What about tops? Just tank tops and a light jacket?

      Maybe Guerlain Vetiver?

      • Musette says:

        you want one long sleeved something (or be prepared to buy one in India) in case you need to go somewhere conservative – that’s why the long pants or skirt. Btw – I know you have traveled extensively in weird climes – do you prefer shorts to pants? I find that lightweight cotton pants work best for me – but that’s me. My Dutch friends favor these weird zip-off pants – and they actually look just fine and seem to work well, too (as long as you remember to not wear dark socks with them! :”>

        Guerlain Vet would be great. Let’s face it, you’re going to a place that will be redolent with all sorts of smells – a regular scent prolly can’t compete with those. Vet is perfect. Plus, it has those insect-deterring properties. You did get a bottle of Skin So Soft oil, didn’t you? (Avon). A small bottle will do. Forget Cutters, Raid, Deet. SSS kept everyting off me, whenever I went to some region where the insects were bigger than my hand – and bitey. Or smaller than my brain – and bitey.

        Oh! Most important: A REALLY GOOD, SUPPORTIVE BRA. You will be traveling in some sort of conveyance and if India is anything like Africa the roads are hellish. I took all these lacy little VS bras….and in a fit of sanity, threw in one heavy-duty Cross Your Heart boulder-holder. Patty, I wore that thing every time we got into a vehicle!

        xo >-)

        • zeezee says:

          Ha! Guilty as charged. Those zip-off pants are DA BOMB. Added bonus: they’re usually made of some quick-dry natural/synthetic fiber mix, so facing sudden down-pours or crossing water becomes a lot more pleasant. Beats soggy jeans any day.
          I’ll echo all of the packing advice: pack minimal. One pair of light pants, one light (silk, if you can) skirt, one short-sleeved top, one long-sleeved tee or blouse. Breathable materials. Sturdy sandals (Tevas or the like) and sturdy closed shoes (see: snakes, scorpions and spiders).
          I’d avoid perfume and scented products altogether, it alerts mosquitoes to your presence even more.