As it turned out, this was a very good thing. How else would I have had the space to return home with two angklungs, an Indonesian kite, and an assortment of smaller items? I'm not much of a shopper, but some things just had to come home with me. The angklungs were freebies--one received after my fellow travelers and I participated in a workshop at Saung Angklung Udjo and the other given to me by a traveler who didn't want to lug hers home. Since these musical instruments play only one note, I thought, "Why not? Two notes are better than one." Of course, as you can see by the picture, these bamboo creations, which produce a lovely, marimba-like sound, are rather delicate so the next issue was how best to pack them so they'd arrive intact.
In my last blog, I pointed out the space saving virtues of zippable plastic bags. Now, however, what I needed--in spite of the fact that I was returning with more than I took--was enough filler to prevent the angklungs from being too heavily jarred in transit. Once again, those plastic bags to the rescue. Zip them part way up, blow in a little air, quickly zip them the rest of the way and--voila!--you have an excellent substitute for the bubble wrap you didn't think to bring along.
And there you have it: the all-purpose packer's helper, plastic bags.