I admit, I love a good bag.
I am one of those people who has a bag and hangs on to it till it wears out and then I move on. I have friends who change their bag to suit their wardrobe, but I am far too lazy to be on that team.
If I am in another country and my current bag is coming to its use-by date, I love an excuse to buy a bag, especially when I know it's going to come with the added extra of memories of being in another place. To me, that's like free steak knives.
At the risk of sounding quite tossy, so far I have amassed bags from France, Spain, Tonga, England, Malaysia, Japan, China, Australia,Hong Kong,Thailand and Bali. (Actually, it doesn't sound that tossy, it's not a very large list).
But if I looked a little closer, I would probably discover that most of them were made in China. Except for the Tongan tapa bag, don't think cheap tapa reproductions are big in China, yet.
About seven or so years ago, I attempted to develop a different bag strategy, to which I am going to finally admit defeat.
I used to be of the big multi tasking bag variety. This started at university.
Pros: Good to transport text books,great to steal wine glasses at restaurants and also very good to smuggle wine into the restaurants which you were then going to steal their wine glasses from. (We were saving the kitchen people from too many dishes).
Cons: Tendency to get very heavy.
But as I grew out of my wine glass thieving days, my bags still remained large. It was pointed out
to me that, being the owner of a rubbish back it (blowing discs and fused vertebrae) maybe I should consider downsizing my bag as possibly carting less around with me, could be an, ummm, good thing?
I saw the sense in this sentiment and have been attempting to do this every since.
And colossally failing at it.
I have actually come to the conclusion that my bags don't gradually wear out due to wear and tear - I short circuit their lives by continually trying to attempt to jam far too much in.
I am a serial bag murderer.
Two bags ago I had a lovely red bag. It was little. It could fit in my sunnies (big box), my glasses (small snap oroton that used to belong to my grandmother), my wallet, my phone, my ipod, my leatherman, a measuring tape and the odd writing instrument. (I have had to bin my pocket world atlas due to downsizing). However, just holding on to all this, my bag was as full as a Labrador after it's sneaked into a buffet. But the zip managed to close.
Fast forward a year. The red is now a tired, faded pink due to continual stretching and the bag looks like it needs to go and spend its last days in a nice sunny paddock full of lush grass.
I spied red bag mark two in red bag mark one's twilight days. Same size, different make. In the shop I did the try on. Eagerly stuffed all the contents into it and yes, they fit so red bag mark two got to come home with me.
Fast forward a year. Red bag mark two can't, for the life of it, close. ( And the advantages of a closing bag cannot be underestimated. Hands up everyone who has lost a mobile phone as it bounced cheerfully out of an unclosed bag and down into a very permanent fitted grate on the side of the street? Some people win Lotto, I lose phones down grates at ten o'clock in the morning.)
Anyway red bag mark two was looking exhausted. ( I think it might have had something to do with the thirteen writing instruments that I discovered it was harbouring, but that's just pure speculation).I had seen its demise coming so, when in China earlier this year, I bought myself a new bag - but this time, I had the good sense to up-size. This was a black sleek bag, very cool and lots of hidden zips and compartments.
Compartments for everything, you could put your wallet there, lipsticks there, car keys there, sunnies there, that compartment could be a work compartment for tapes or discs. Oh look, and there's even room for your book if you're going on a plane.
Oh so practical, and I can safely zip everything away.
Except there's one problem.
I know it's in there, filed somewhere safely but....but....but....is it in the middle compartment? The side compartment? The front flap? The back compartment?WHERE'S MY FUCKING PHONE??
Sigh. On the upside I now can fit everything into my bag, but on the downside, I now suffer from compartment anxiety.
Is there a support group for that?