… they are a-changing. I made my first wobbly attempts at a fun and functional packing list about seven years ago, and I think I can honestly say that the only thing which is still with me is my compact collapsible brush with mirror. Oh, and my little pale pink tech towel. Obviously I packed underwear and shoes and toiletries then too, but the actual garments and other items have been replaced, upgraded, removed. I no longer use the same pack, shoes, trousers, rain gear or even wash bag. Let this be a comfort to those who are struggling with their first or recent packing list – things will change, no matter how well thought out it seems right now.
But you see, in spite of its long and faithful service my tech towel feels icky. Just … plasticky and fake. And it’s small – too small. I can’t even get all my hair in a turban with it. It does work, I’ll give it that, and with a sarong to wrap around myself to go out of the shower, I can get dry and stay decent in the albergues. Also the towel is pale pink. Yes, the exact same pale pink that every other female pilgrim has. The exact shade that all the manufacturers make, to match the pale blue for the male traveler and trekker. I have almost lost my little towel many a time on the drying line.
So today I found myself in an outdoorsy shop (gasp! what are the odds!) and tech towels were on sale, so I went to look at them. After establishing that half the towels were indeed pale pink and the other half pale blue, I went and asked the man behind the counter if he had anything in a different colour – and larger than my existing pale pink one, which measures 45 x 90 cms. Yes, I did say it was small. The man looked, looked again, muttered something about never having noticed before that there are only two colours in tech towels, went into the back and emerged triumphantly with …
A green microfibre towel! Green! The novelty! A happy, bright, fun and energizing shade of green! Unmistakable-on-a-line green!
And it was bigger than 45 x 90, in fact it was 80 x 160 – bath towel size! Cover-up size! Wrap-around decency guaranteed! Pure luxury! And so soooft!
And on offer! What’s a girl to do?
At this point I had to laugh out loud at myself in the shop. I could hardly believe myself when I decided I deserved a big towel and never mind the weight. Yes, you read that correctly: Never mind the weight! Ha! Let the grams do their worst, I care not! I have shaved off so much weight from my kit, I can manage to carry this huge green beauty of a towel to dry myself properly after a shower, even the hair, and wrap it around me to go out to get dressed. I can, and I will, because I’m worth it!
I know. Pure madness. And there was a sharp intake of breath when I came home and weighed it. (You didn’t think I wouldn’t, did you??) My new, soft, green and huge towel weighs 257 grams. My tiny little pale pink one weighs about 100. Then again, I quickly decided I would leave the sarong, since I won’t need it for a bath robe anymore, and then I’d be grams in anyway. That made me feel a bit easier about carrying something so … big, and frivolous, and superfluous, and wonderful …
Yes, this pilgrim’s priorities are definitely changing.