Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yesterday, I printed out all my paperwork associated with my trip. Copies of credit cards, insurance papers and so on. I make a copy of everything important for my grandson to carry with his things. The idea is if your suitcase gets lost, you have the numbers and information in his luggage. And, his information is in my luggage should his get lost. It is a precaution we hope we won't need, of course.

Then I read about the clothing requirements, or suggestions,  as I prepared to select what I would take with me.  In the country, men and women do not wear sleeveless shirts or shorts. Women cover their hair. In mosques, if you do not have proper attire, you must rent it or stay out of the mosque.

In the cities, one can get by with showing knees, or even a sleeveless shirt, but it is still considered rather impolite to go out in public "improperly" dressed. Boys do not typically wear shorts. They wear trousers. I'd forgotten how much importance is placed on what we wear.

It wasn't too long ago that women wore house dresses. The first time my mother came home with a pair of "slacks", it was war at her house. She wore her slacks until they were thin and then used them to make a rug which I still have. She wore house dresses most of her life and only rarely reverted to "pants."  For my generation it was giving up nylons at church and at work. I still had to wear a hat to church as a kid. Not until I met a firebrand teacher in fifth grade, was I allowed to wear anything but skirts and long stockings over long underwear to school. Boys had warm legs, we girls had to freeze. She let us wear "Jeans" which we did at home, by then, on the farm. Oh, how we adored her.

That was reversed when we moved back to Escanaba. We were required to wear long stockings, (no Jeans)  to school for seventh and eighth grades. By the time I arrived at school in the winter, my hands were so stiff with cold, I had to warm my hands before I could open my combination lock to my locker.

Now, though it is inconvenient and seems silly to me, I make it a point to obey the dress codes of the countries I travel in.  Each non-westernized country is so unique and interesting, I’m glad that I got to see the colorful clothing of the Inca peoples of Peru. And the folk music and dance costume of Costa Ricans, and that I learned to tie a piece of fabric that covers a man or a woman from head to toe without buttons to assist keeping it in place.

On our boat, we can only wear boat shoes or socks or bare feet. And, there is no electrical connections on the small boat we sail for a short time. I finally have taken the time to be excited about my upcoming trip, and can enjoy it through the printed word, first.

Today, Jim and I are going to go out and look for wildflowers in bloom and stop and take pictures.

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