Measured out in cardboard boxes.

I am becoming very familiar with the following terms:

  • volumetric weight
  • minimum edge crush test
  • baggage weight fee
  • extra baggage charge
I am extraordinarily pleased to report that though US Airways has now instituted a first checked bag fee of $15--something of which I'd never even dreamed--both that fee and the $25 second checked bag one they instituted earlier this year do not apply to flights originating in or traveling to Europe. Thus, it's only the third-to-ninth baggage checked bag charges I'll be worrying about.

Ninth checked bag? For real?

Suddenly I have a fantasy about taking four or even five bags on the airplane, not just three. The costs are much lower than shipping, goodness knows, even at $100 for each extra bag: to ship 50 lbs. costs about £142 (=$284). At some point, the only question would be: how on earth does one get that many bags to the airport in the first place? I'll already be carrying more than I can actually carry--which is its own embarrassment, frankly, because I've grown used to being able to do things like manage my own baggage. And the amount I already know I'll have (and possibly exceed) is more than the coach company actually guarantees being able to accommodate--something that I'm simply hoping a great big American Girl Abroad Smile™ will help me to bypass. At 5 a.m. Actually, I have no sense that a smile will help me at all. I'm just counting on the fact that the bus is often not particularly full at 5 a.m.

The moral of this story so far would seem to be that if you have too much stuff to carry in an appropriate amount of luggage, you might find yourself thinking or even doing peculiar things to accommodate all that stuff. The bigger moral, I suspect I don't need to add, is that you might find yourself realizing yet again that you simply have too much stuff, wherever you go. And by "you," I obviously mean "I" but am trying to include other people in my sorry state just to keep myself from feeling like a schmoe.

All of these calculations make me glad that I had those two summers of not-moving, in 2005 and 2006, since I'd moved in 2003 and 2004 and now, it seems, will be pulling a relocation each summer for the next half-decade. And at least this one doesn't involve all my worldly goods, the way the next two will.

Let's just look at this lovely flower together, shall we?