Outside the box

Outside the box

Sometimes you need to think inside the box!


After spending a lifetime of thinking outside the box, I had to accept that sometimes, it is vital to think ‘inside the box’. It happened when my two-month dream holiday in Seattle, came to an end.

 It was time to pack my stuff into my suitcases. The ‘stuff’ refused to be pushed in.  You may note that I hate shopping. My daughter became my mother as she lectured me on the importance of travelling light. (It had a familiar tinge to it. I believe I’ve said those words too!)

So many memories flashed by when my overweight cousin Masroor used to always sit on my overweight suitcase to help me close it, when I was in college, in Lahore. How after marriage,  I would ‘disappear’ when the truck arrived to take our luggage and I’d leave my husband to find the best way to fit it all in. All my books, my paintings and even tree trunks and roots which I’d pick up in every place we lived, along with our actual stuff of furniture, carpets, and luggage. Now, I guess he must be happy in heaven without all that to do for me!

It is a belief that with time, one learns. Well. With some things, one never learns! Time, age, stage-in-life make no difference!

Both bags ended up being 15 pounds in excess. When I called up the office of the airline I was told that even a single extra pound means I’ll have to pay $50 for it. Since both of them were …. So I’d have to pay for both. Anyhow, I was sure I’ll not take extra baggage, as you get everything in Pakistan…. Except these lovely books!

Bilal my son-in-law and friend, kept offering to pay for the extra baggage, but it was a matter of principle for me. My husband and I had vowed we would never do it. (- After we had paid through the nose several times!)

Nataliya said, ‘you sit down and let me handle it, you are out of practice. I go to Pakistan every year, I know better!’

So, she latched on to my precious books …..  first she looked at the one called ‘Messy’ by Tim Harford.  I watched where she ‘removed’ it, I was going to put it back! Next was my ‘The gifts of Imperfection.’ (I never knew book titles could be so appropriate! ) Of course I decided to sneak that one in too. Then there was the Mermaid book written by Bob from my Renton Salon Write up group. I’d got it for Anya when she will be thirteen years old. So, we kept it there for her. Then the ‘Displacement’ (another cliché?) had to be left behind as Nataliya said I’ll read it then bring it for you. I had read it, so it was ok. Then my precious magazines bought from Barns and Noble and the Half-price shop. The Opera Winfrey magazine which I loved… “I’ll bring them when I come to your home. Ok? “ With a broken heart I had to accept. s-l300

Their weighing machine was the one which is like a pulley. So, each time, Nataliya had to pick the bag up. So I thought I’d weigh the things we took out, so she wont have to pick it up. (I thought her fingers would break like that!) Can you believe it, I’d put the stuff I’d take out in a plastic bag and hang it up on the pulley, and it wouldn’t move a bit. I realized this is why in Pakistan, when the vegetable man would weigh the fruit or vegetables on a machine or the old style ‘tarazoo’, he would put the last bit in with a bang! Otherwise the scale doesn’t move!!!  I guess it’s some scientific issue which Newton or others missed.  And the veggie man ‘got it’. images-1

So, finally, with a lot of putting in and taking out, we got the suitcases to the exact  23 kg each. We sat back and heaved a sigh of relief.

Suddenly, Nat got up and pulled out my bedside table draws ….. then the ones in the washroom. Yes, you got it right – they were full of my stuff.

It was the last straw. I lay on the bed and laughed my head off, while Nataliya lay on the floor laughing her head off. Anya came in saying in her heavy American accent “I wish I knew why you both are laughing . I could join in too!”


Stay blessed my reader… life can be sooooooooooooooo much fun. 🙂


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  1. Hehehehehe. What good memories. So glad you wrote them down for us:)

    1. Thank you so much for your efforts…. and the great time I had. All my friends and family here are happy to see the new me. ?

  2. Such happy memories!

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