cleaning out my wallet; dregs of forgotten voyages

In five days, I’m leaving Bishkek (again) to spend a month in Dubai. Didn’t I just get back here? Yes, and I’m a bit reluctant to move myself away from my current home again, especially to spend an undoubtedly warm month in an already humid region, but it’s for an opportunity that, in my opinion, looks wonderful on the surface and waves its freak flag with increasing vigor as I peel off the shiny, happy layers surrounding it.

In other words, I’m going to be participating in a month-long photography internship with the man who organized the Glamour Photography Workshop some months ago at AUCA. I have many reservations about embarking on this, but in the spirit of not saying anything if it’s not nice, I will try to quiet my cynical mind for now and hope the experience turns out to be beneficial.

In preparation for my trip, I decided to clean out a wallet I’ve been using over the years more as a storage file than on a day-to-day basis, which had accumulated an interesting collection of travel dregs.

Here’s what I found:

1 – Address/phone number for Cozy Bangkok Place, a guesthouse I stayed in on my epic Southeast Asian Adventure, aka “Kirstin is now 19 years-old and thinks it’s perfectly reasonable to skip spending the holidays with her family and instead hang out in Thailand by herself.” Very nice accommodations, I highly recommend it for anybody heading to Bangkok anytime soon.

2 – Cabin checked baggage tag. In 2010 I took 27 flights, many of which were short, domestic hops, where my carry-on size luggage didn’t fit in the overhead. If I kept all of these, I could probably cover a wall with them by now.

3 – Borders reward card. I’m partial to Barnes and Nobles, so I don’t really know where this came from.

4 – The whole mess of dingy grey scraps are ticket stubs from museums and sites around Romania, March 2009. No, I never did get around to writing a decent post about the trip for this blog.

5 – A business card for a restaurant in New York City where Farrell and I passed time between a flight from Bucharest to NY and a train from NY to DC. I distinctly remember it contributing to my generally negative feelings toward New Yorkers after witnessing a study group of theater majors bicker about Stephen Sondheim.

6 – Two business cards for a tattoo parlor in Adams Morgan, DC, where I visited several times during my freshman year in college, planning to get giant wings tattooed on my back. Not only was the cost way outside of my freshman-college-girl budget, but it only took a few months for the idea to seem unappealing.

7 – Passes for the Dubai metro, from my 9-hour layover between Iraq and the U.S. The metro had opened the day before and it was still a big clusterf**k. At the time you had to buy a new pass for each new ride and I’m hoping that has changed by now.

8 – Safeway card, also from my college years in DC.

9 – International Student Travel ID card or whatever it’s called. Useless! It might have been helpful if I was planning to spend a semester abroad in Europe and planned on going to a lot of big tourist attractions to get the discounts they supposedly offer. My STA travel agent really talked me into spending $30 to get one, and not only was it completely irrelevant in Amman, Jordan, but it expired by the time I visited any place where it could be used.

10 – Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) patch. I think this is Farrell’s from the first time he went to work in Baghdad. By the time I got there, it was called USF-I. I don’t think I got a patch, but I do have a mini T-wall mixed in with the rest of my stored possessions at my dad’s house.

11 – What wallet is complete without a business card for a cross-dresser in DC? Krylon Superstar, at your service.

I also found a stack of foreign currency. If anybody is heading to Cambodia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Ethiopia, Thailand, Romania, or Iraq in the near future, get in touch and I’ll donate some cab fare to the cause.

3 replies on “cleaning out my wallet; dregs of forgotten voyages”

  1. Epic Southeast Asia Adventure?! I wanna hear about that!! That’s exactly what I’m planning on doing once my time in Korea is up. Have you written about it anywhere? I have so many questions! 🙂

    (ps, i also totally use my wallets as file cabinets, and also periodically have to go through and empty them out….once i had a pocket entirely for all the public transportation ticket stubs i’d accumulated from all over the world! and totally photographed the contents before i tossed them 😉

  2. I also have Ethiopian currency and found that it could not be exchanged in either Dubai or DC – guess I’ll have to go back to Gonder…

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