Everything else you can buy...

Reading Practical Tips from 4 Years of Traveling The World — written by a woman who is doing just that — makes me want to travel again soon. Not only is it a good thumbnail sketch of some useful how-tos, but there’s a travel philosophy that underlies the pointers that I’ve very sympathetic to.

Tip No. 4, “Everything else you can buy,” brought to mind a demonstration of this that Oliver and I experienced on a visit to Wolfsburg, Germany two years ago.

We were staying at the youth hostel, and I’d forgotten to check to see if they provided towels or not. Turns out that they didn’t.

Now Oliver and I are both more prone to practical-detail-freakouts than your average person (just ask Catherine) so this was a chance both to test the “everything else you can buy” theory and also a good chance for us to address our own freakitudic tendencies head-on.

It turns out that everything else you can buy: we simply found our way to the Müller department store our first night after supper (fringe benefit: an opportunity to wander around the city looking for the Müller department store) and bought a towel. If memory serves it cost less than $5.00. And it served us well for the next couple of days.

Towel Purchased in Wolfsburg

The only thing, in my experience, that I must absolutely not forget is plug adapters: for some reason they are almost impossible to find in Europe. I’m sure there’s a place where everyone goes, and that they are easy to find, but I haven’t figured that out yet.

Otherwise, we’ve had great adventures looking for Nintendo DS chargers (we’ve done that twice, as the one we purchased on trip one was forgotten on trip two), Tylenol (“avez-vous de la Paracetamol?”), hand cream (“un chose pour enlever les main avec de l’eau?”), myriad umbrellas (Portugal, France, Thailand, Germany), and portable hard drives. In all cases, there’s often been as much or more adventure attached to the “looking around” as in the “finding.”

Comments

Robert Paterson's picture
Robert Paterson on April 12, 2012 - 19:56

Try using sign language to buy tampons Peter - One of my successful mimes of the past - thanks Mum

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