Friday, 11 May 2012

Sometimes Faking it is the Best

Friday, 11th May 2012; 14:11
Location: Limau Limau Cafe, Melaka Malaysia
Why: Best fake ever purchased.

I've just escaped into my 'writer's flat' at the upstairs level of Limau Limau cafe here in Chinatown. Louie Armstrong's It's a Wonderful World is cooing over the cafe's sound system while the couple in the corner leisurely read their books and I start this post.

Armstrong's voice crackles and tingles my spine as he describes what a wonderful world it really is. What have I done to deserve such simple pleasures in life? An extraordinary cup of latte has just been delivered to my table by the waiter as I stare out the shuttered window overlooking the quaint graveyard that hasn't changed in decades.

In this vagabonding lifestyle, I am usually not attached to things or people. At least I try my best not to. However, as I look over at my reliable but beat up little day pack, I admit that I would be shattered if I lost her or she gave up on me.

Staring out the window and realizing just how much I love my day pack:

I started my travel with my Gregory Deva 57L backpack and a Black Diamond day pack. I bombed around Vancouver with Black Diamond testing her out beforehand. She tested fine but proved to be an annoying piece to lug around so I sent her home from Koh Tao, only 5 weeks into my trip. Good riddance for she was 2.07lbs naked. I'm a bit obsessive about the weight of my travel gear.

I didn't meet my North Face beauty until 2 months later when I found myself perusing all the fake merchandise in one of Hanoi's many streets. She was hanging there all small and cute that I asked the merchant to take her down for a look. She was much smaller and lighter than Black Diamond - two important criteria for the minimalist style I was traveling in.

After some negotiating, I bought her for 250, 000VND, approximately $12CAD. Total score. Since then, we have been inseparable (except for when I use the indestructible shopping bag from Asmin). North Face has been through a lot, including surgeries of all kinds.

Patching her up when she started falling apart at the sides and the straps. Fear not, for there's nothing a little orange embroidery thread cannot fix!

As I continued my dance around SE Asia, North Face underwent some cosmetic surgery including the addition of the flag where she came from and the flag where her owner calls home:

She also underwent some internal surgeries for the better. After my first fisherman's pants became too pilled, even for my dirtbag backpacker image, I gave it a new life by sewing pockets into North Face's insides.

The decision proved to be a great idea as it helped distribute the weight of the pack more efficiently. One of the most important things every backpacker should have is a sewing kit. And some patience. Luckily I love sewing so I have patience for this kind of thing.

Pocket #1 which houses my travel notebook:

Pocket #2 which houses my wallet:

And pocket #3 which houses my face blotter and trusty little calculator for which I'd be lost without:

Virtually everywhere I go, North Face is with me, even when she's feeling sepia:

North Face carries everything that is valuable to me on the road. Literally. I really would be shattered if I lost her or she breaks down completely. Or worse, she gets stolen. But alas, she has protected all that is dear to me in this little world wandering for over nine months. And with our home base here in Melaka, I think she will still be kickin' it strong when we are on the move again. Stay tuned for where our next adventure will be by checking in.

In the meantime, I realize I am coming onto the one year anniversary of this Wanderin' the Globe odyssey. Where has the time gone? Wasn't it only yesterday I was biking across the Burrard Street bridge getting to work? Somebody pinch me.