Although we’re flying to Japan today, our travels within the island nation will be mostly by train. And from what I’ve read, even the bullet trains don’t easily accommodate American-style super-size luggage. It seems the Japanese prefer their things smaller. (If you’re thinking what I’m thinking – don’t go there.)
Besides that, we’ll also need to travel somewhat light for our African safari next February. So after a decade or so of tireless service, we finally retired Bertha I and II. Those of you who’ve traveled with us will no doubt fondly recall our pair of ginormous silver hard-shell cases. The ones that frustrated cab drivers on six continents as they stood on a curb trying to figure out how to fit both pieces – and us – into a compact taxi sedan.
Since our new luggage will be making its inaugural trip to Japan, we figured that, along with being smaller, it ought to be shiny and colorful. And so we introduce to the world our new orange and blue traveling companions. They’re still hard-shell, but as yet unnamed. We’re open to suggestions.
Who’s the little fellow sitting on top of the orange piece? That would be Mikki, our antique Kokeshi doll. Like all traditional Kokeshi dolls, Mikki is made of wood and hand-painted. And like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, his head can spin around 360 degrees.
We’re not exactly sure how old Mikki is, though the early post-WWII period is probably about right. We’re also not sure how or when he came to America. But being another small Japanese thing, we thought we’d bring him along for good luck.
There’s just one problem with having Mikki around. Sometimes I swear he’s following me with his eyes, even though he’s supposedly just, you know, an inanimate object.
OK, so Mikki can be a little creepy at times. Actually, in the darker parts of one’s imagination he can be downright demonic.
Hmm. I think we’ll leave Mikki home after all. Maybe we’ll bring him back a girlfriend to keep him occupied. Or should it be a boyfriend? I have no idea which way Mikki swings. Though if I had to guess, I’d say he probably…goes both ways.
Yeah. Pretty creepy.