Duty Free from the US of A

Zip, zilch, zero, nada. That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it.

Official tariff rules define duty amount, unofficial action by a postal official determines how much ‘tea money’ (AKA Informal Fee, The Little Bite, bribe) one pays. Today the woman working the counter was not wearing the same uniform by the men I’ve always seen manning the position. She put the package on the counter which meant it’s duty paying time, but then she turned to call the next customer. I thought ‘what, no duty? … I better get while the gettin’s good’. This unexpected fatness of wallet introduction trumped the obvious original title for this post: Size Matters.

Even though I pack light, carry-on size luggage was a problem when packing for 2 seasons. On the Adriatic trip another pair of long pants, another long sleeved shirt and a second pair of shoes would have been wonderful, but there wasn’t room. The back pack was full and my front pack had far more weight than I wanted. There was a gap between the 46 liter carry-on backpack and my 24″ wheeled suitcase which hasn’t been used since the trip here from the Phils. Leaving Thailand during the hottest months (mid April to mid June in Hua Hin) in the future means going to places were Spring will be still warming up.

I had to get a bigger bag. I bought a bigger bag. It’s the 65 liter big brother of my 46 liter Osprey Porter travel backpack. There’s 41% more volume in a bag 3″ longer, 2″ taller (11″ vs 9″) but with the same width. The miracle of girth explains why a seemingly small increase in two exterior dimensions makes a big difference in interior space.

Size Matters

The compression straps have 2 attachment points, one for smushing it flat for storage, the other for snugging it tight around the contents. A bag with 41% more volume is overkill for my needs but 2 pulls on the compression straps and it’s just the size I need. In the photo the straps are shown in the ‘smush’ position.


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