An Ode to my MacPac…

As I was recently rooting around in my loft for something, I found my big macpac, and realised I’ve had it for 10 years this year. It’s the best rucksack I’ve ever bought, it has a lifetime guarantee, and it’s EXTREMELY well-made, so I thought it was worthy of a little shout-out.

I bought my matching big and little macpacs in 2007, before going to Nepal for a year.

My big macpac has gone with me to Nepal, India, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Liverpool, South Sudan, India again, Nepal again, Kashmir, Oxford, the USA, The Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Iraq, Jordan, Canada, USA again, Australia again, Senegal, Kenya, Iraq again, and Senegal again.

Other than an unfortunate incident once where my Big Mac got ripped in an airport and needed to be patched (I sent it off to macpac and they fixed it up and shipped it back to me), it has held up remarkably well! In Nepal I used to keep it empty under my bed, but padlocked as my passport was in there, and when I lost the key, I had to beg the locksmith to cut through the padlock carefully not to damage the zip!

It’s incredibly comfortable, exactly the right size, and I love that it unzips like a proper suitcase instead of rooting around in a normal rucksack. I also love that you can fold in and zip up the straps when checking it in at airports so they don’t get damaged en-route.

My little macpac has gone with me EVERYWHERE in the last 10 years. It’s literally my everyday bag, it carries my laptop into work everyday, it goes with me on mini-breaks and weekends, and in addition to all of the countries my big mac has been to it has ALSO been with me to Qatar, Madrid, Italy and Switzerland!

Obviously daily use for 10 years has left my little mac a bit grubby, but considering what it’s been through, it’s holding up INCREDIBLY well! It’s even still mostly waterproof, as I learned after a can of tonic water exploded inside it once in the Philippines…

This little bag goes with me pretty much everywhere, is still sturdy and comfy after 10 years, and it zips onto the front of Big Mac (although I hardly ever do that).

So, all in all, as a fairly frequent traveller, I give these bags 10 out of 10 and highly recommend them for your travelling adventures.

🙂

2009 Round-up

Friday 8th January 2010

Hi Everyone,
My deepest apologies for not writing much over the last 5 months or so.

I think the last time I wrote it was about July and I was manically writing my masters dissertation. I’d have written sooner, but I’m afraid my life in the last 4 or 5 months has been unbelievably dull and so there really hasn’t been much to report!

Let’s see, I finished my thesis in August, and am proud to announce that I somehow wangled a distinction, and I graduated in December, so I am now, officially, Maya, Master of Science (Brief pause for applause and adoration….) Continue reading

Unwelcome advice…

Monday 27th July 2009

Hello again!

Well, not so much to report this time around. The dissertation deadline looms, and myself and most of my friends have been locked in our rooms chained to our laptops. I have personally reached a stage where I’m so sick of reading and re-reading paragraphs over and over that I basically can’t bear to work on it at all at the moment!

However, what amusing anecdotes can I regale for your amusement this time?

Well, last week I accidentally set my kitchen on fire, but I maintain that that was not my fault at all, except in a technical way.
I was cooking bangers and mash for a few of my classmates (a lot of them are international students who have never tried such a classic british meal!), as we’ve been getting together once a week to discuss our issues, problems and general dissertation-related nightmares. Continue reading

The bells, the bells!

Sunday 12th July 2009

Hello again everyone,
Just a quick update to let you all know how I’m doing.

I’m now back in Liverpool, attempting to write up my beasty dissertation and hunt for jobs at the same time!

It’s starting out pretty slowly, but I’m hoping I can get into the flow pretty soon. I’ve been going to the University library from 9 to 5, as they have these little private study rooms you can use which are really quiet. So, it’s like having my own office to go to really. The only problem is, they’re so quiet that the other day, I didn’t hear the announcement that the library was closing. I carried on working and when I looked at my watch and realised it was ten past six, I packed up and hurried downstairs, expecting to see an irate member of the library staff ready to give me a telling-off.

Instead, as I came down the stairs, something started beeping over and over again, and it dawned on me that the place looked awfully deserted. I stood in the massive entrance area, yelling “Hello? Is anyone there?” before realising I was all alone, and clearly locked inside the giant library (hence the beeping of the alarm!).
I knew I’d set off the alarms, but didn’t really know what else to do, so I just went out the turnstiles as normal and went out the emergency exit door. Continue reading

Revenge of the Machines…

Thursday 18th June 2009

So, as I believe I have mentioned several times in the past, I am a bit of a technophobe. I have a weird natural magnetism that seems to destroy anything electrical I touch or sometimes even just sit near.
I have so far killed several computers, often whole rooms of them at a time, numerous clocks and watches, my mum’s new electric mower, two microwaves, a handful of smaller electrical items such as phones, digital cameras, ipods, and many other items of technology.

And now, finally, the machines are striking back, with lethal force.

Allow me to tell you what happened to me last Saturday. I had a very scary near-death experience , and if I had in fact died, it would have been the most random and bizarre death EVER. Continue reading

The Latrine of Doom…

Tuesday 9th June 2009

Hello hello again everyone!
Firstly, thanks for all my lovely birthday messages! I had a great birthday weekend, I went for a lovely meal with some friends and had a very relaxing day!

Now, on to the much more exciting stuff!
I have just got back from Kajo Keji, a small town just next to the border with Uganda, which is beautiful! It’s very lush and green, and most people seem to consider it more Ugandan than Sudanese. We even had to change all our money into Ugandan shillings, even though we are still in Sudan. It’s much cooler down here, and quite hilly, and we’ve had some incredible thunderstorms. Continue reading