Last post for a bit?
Luggage: Check. Seven bags amongst two of us, plus carry-ons (one of the 7 is Adam’s guitar, so really it’s more like 3 bags each). Contents range from an electric blanket, voltage converters*, yarn, and clothing to medications, books, a Playstation 3, notebooks** and pens. Snacks are packed in the carry-ons, Kindles are charged and updated with over 1,800 different books loaded on (thank you, Project Gutenberg!) and the important documents not coming out of our sight (like our marriage certificate). Today and tonight was full of “last…” for me, and some special treats.
We drove up to Torrington and said goodbye to the new friends made through NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org), and I did the drive back down, saying farewell to much of the corner of the country I’ve grown up with. With my mother and stepfather retiring out of state, I’ll have no cause to come back here, but for visitation with friends, and it’s unlikely that will happen any time in the relatively near future. We grabbed Chinese food from the New Milford Chinese Restaurant, and Adam got his General Tso’s fix (since he can, evidently, eat it from _my_ restaurant!), and whilst we were at Staples picking up photo paper, I found sea salt caramel chocolates. Those are being tucked into my carry-on: they are my addiction, and hard to find. Why the office supply store had them, and none of the local grocery stores did, I will not question, and merely be thankful!
We checked in online for our flight, paid for 4 out of the 7 bags, and will cough up the rest of the money tomorrow in Newark when we check in. We also juggled our seats – not in the mood to pay $179 for an exit row! – and have an aisle and middle seat, in the middle of the plane. No window, but at least we don’t have to worry about hopping over people to get up and stretch. I’ll focus on one of the three(!) shawls I have on the needles, having confirmed with the TSA that I can bring knitting needles, and scissors with less-than-4-inch blades on the plane***. I also have a copy of the Ramayana in my bag (the William Buck translation) and, in the event I need something to put me to sleep, the convoluted but enjoyable baroque stylings of Susanna Clarke’s _Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell_.
Adam and I also checked the Indian CBEC (Central Board of Excise & Customs) website, at http://www.cbec.gov.in/cae1-english.htm, for the updated information regarding duties and taxes. If I’m reading all the charts and addenda correctly, we’re good to go as we’re changing permanent residence, rather than just visiting; we can go through the GREEN exit at the airport rather than the RED, which is if you have to declare dutiable items. I definitely suggest checking the CBEC site before you come to India, and make sure you have a handle on what is dutiable for your situation, and what is not.
* – Brookstone (http://www.brookstone.com) had the voltage converters, for a better deal (at $25 or so each) than Radio Shack or other options we explored. In addition, for about $4 a device, they’ll replace them up to 3 times, then give you your money back, if they break/cease to function. We happily put that protection plan on!
** – Allegedly, good notebook paper is hard to find in India. Will confirm when we get there, but saw no reason to leave some of the notebooks behind, when they are small and light.
*** – http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1252.shtm for the needles, and http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#4 (note: scissors are a ‘yes!’ for carry-on, if their blades are less than 4″).