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.


Time for another…

Wednesday 25th October 2006

Hello everyone,

It’s been an incredibly busy and hectic term, so I apologise for the lack of communication, although most of you never write to me anyway, so fair’s fair.

My classroom all decorated for Eid

Since the riot in Hawally it’s been a fairly restrained Ramadan, and apart from a huge fight at our school Gurgian night, it’s been quiet but busy. The fight incidentally involved some of the secondary boys, and when the police were called, one of the boys started yelling at one of the cops, who promply bashed him in the chest (yes, that’s right, the policeman knocked around a mouthy teenager, in the school!!).
One of the Arabic staff standing next to me was kind enough to translate the following dialogue, which went:
(teenager): “You can’t touch me you f***ing pigs! My dad’s a general in the army and if you dare f***ing touch me he’ll f***ing have you!!! f***ing pigs!!”

to which the cop replied

“Yeah?? Well MY dad’s the minister of defence and can fire your dad in minutes you snot-nosed little piece of s**t”

At this point it deteriorated into a mud-slinging match basically involving who’s dad was better/more important, and you can pretty much insert your own expletives there!!
In the end they arrested the kid and his mate, and (I’m reliably informed) took him down the station for a beating.

So that was fun.

Soooo looking forward to our next school event! At least we all learned a valuable lesson about coming down to a teenager’s maturity level.

Some of the boys dressed up for the Gurgian festival at school

Awesomely high level of Health and Safety at school…

In other news, term has finished for this week, as it’s Eid (or the end of Ramadan) so Betty, Bryn and I went off to Dubai for three days of highly intensive drinking!!
We succeeded in getting drunk four times in two days, and then spent the third day feeling soooo hungover it was hard to move.

Outside the Irish Village for a slap-up hangover breakfast

Dubai is an amazing city – so unlike Kuwait it was unbelievable! Dubai is modern and new and innovative and flashy and clean and tourist-friendly – pretty much everything that Kuwait isn’t.

So it was incredibly nice and relaxing and we drank real proper wine too!!
Anyhow, now I’m back in Kuwait and term starts again on Saturday, so  it’ll all be fun and games (at least three more members of staff have done runners this week, and the school is pretty much falling apart at the seams with a complete lack of proper management, so wish me luck!!).

That’s it from me, hope you’re all well and good and happy etc.

loads of love
Dubai-lovin’ Maya

Indoor ski slope inside a shopping mall in Dubai