Wednesday, September 20, 2006

packing tip After talking yesterday about all the stuff I bring back to Taiwan, I thought I could share a great packing tip. Are you ready? Here it is . . . a great packing tip from someone who has crossed the Pacific Ocean about twenty times (oh my that is almost a whole month of my life flying back and forth between Asia and North America!!) . . . alright already, here is the tip: you don't have to use a suitcase. In fact, I don't even use suitcases at all anymore. I only use these nifty footlockers now. The airline maximum for "suitcases" is 62 cubic inches. These wonderful stuff toters measure 61.75 cubic inches--can't ask for anything better! Plus, you don't waste any precious packing space or weight with needless telescoping handles, wheels, or pockets. They offer one giant holding compartment for all your travelling goodies. They are also strong and sturdy. I use the same one over and over. They do a better job protecting my breakables than softsided suitcases do. And, they weigh much less than your average hard-sided suitcase. Moreover, one additional benefit is that you can use them to store stuff in after you have arrived at your destination. And another wonderful reason to use them is they cost weigh less than even the cheapest suitcases. I have found them in two colors--red and black--at Academy for about 20 USD. I like to use the black ones with a colored suitcase wrap secured around it. They are pretty unique and easy to spot. This makes them really easy to identify at the "claim your suit case merry go round" at the end of a long trip. However, they are not perfect. They do not have wheels and usually require using both hands to carry. But, if you are just travelling from point A to point B and wanna take a lot of goodies with you, nothing could work better. I have managed 4 foot lockers, plus my carry-on bags all by my lonesome before. That includes handeling at two airports, going through customs, and convincing the taxi cab driver I could get them all in his little yellow car with no problem. :) Well, what can I say? Using footlockers instead of suitcases works for me!! Check out Shannon's site for more random helpful tips from bloggers just like you. P.S. Trunks filled with goodies also make for great Christmas gifts to missionaries living overseas. Well, the sister coming was an even better gift, but we didn't think to make her crawl under the tree too. :)
here he is Several people have asked about him via phone, email, and in person. Here are some of the questions I've been asked about Gilby: What did you do with him while you were in the States? He stayed with one of my best friends in the northern part of Taiwan. Ellen and her family were kind enough to give me a great home for over a month. They took excellent care of him and bought him all kinds of neat new stuff. To the left is a picture of him with his new little friend, Phoebe (Ellen and her twin sister's puppy). Thank you, Ellen, for taking care of him for me!! Is Gilby home yet? Yes. He has been back a week now. He came home last Saturday. Did he recognize you? I think so. He licked me for several minutes when I first saw him again. He made himself right at home in my arms again. And, he has made himself right at home again too. Has he changed since he was a way from you for a month? Not too much. His biggest change is that he now absolutely loves his walks. Before they were just a fun bonus; now they are a we-must-go-out-the-door-as-soon-as-Amanda-gets-out-of-bed-and-walks-in-the-door-from-work walk. He runs down the stairs and out the door of my apartment complex--eventually he does slow down, but at first he bolts out the doors like his tail is on fire or something! His other change is that he is more independent. He isn't velcro-ed to my side anymore. He doesn't mind waiting for me on the couch or in his crate. He doesn't eagerly wait at my feet while I get dressed, and he doesn't wait for me to open the bathroom door so we can be together again like he used to. Why didn't you take him with you to the States? Well, even though it is not that difficult to take a dog from Taiwan to the States. It is hard to bring a dog into Taiwan. This is because Taiwan is rabies free, so they keep dogs in quarantine when they enter Taiwan for (I think) two weeks. So, if I do move back to the States later, Gilby will come with me. But he won't be accompanying me on my shorter trips. That's about it as far as Gilby is concerned. He is still my puppy boy, and I am very thankful that he is a part of my life. Here are some more photos taken recently, in case you haven't gotten enough gilby in awhile. (Refesh page if you wanna see different pics.) :)

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