Suitcase Time Machine

I’m packing my suitcase for Hungary. We don’t have a ticket, and I’m still totally unsure when we are leaving – or how long we’re going for, but nevertheless, I’m packing my suitcase.

Easter Monday in the Brunelle Samson household is really all about packing. Actually, we’re finishing with the packing of this apartment. Today involved Zsolt pulling apart the living room with his old PHD papers, contracts from England, left over visa applications, books and video games and more video games.

I’ve been in the bedroom, emptying the closet and dresser of every single bit of clothing I own. One piece after another, I folded the shirts and tank tops and socks and sweater and trousers and scarves, and stacked them on my grandmother’s old sofa (for which I’d made a dark blue slip cover, and now feel sentimental about giving away).


Onto the bed I opened our burnt orange suitcase. This will be my case for the entire summer of displacement and –hopefully- escape.

Hanging from the curtain rod in my bedroom are a thick collection of dresses. Summer dresses, autumn dresses, cocktail dresses, gala dresses. I take the coral baby-dress from the rod and lay it in my burnt orange suitcase. The strap is broken, and I’m hoping Zsolt’s mother won’t mind sewing it since my kit is packed away. I can picture myself by the lake Balaton, wearing this little bit of coral nothingness, and feeling just like I felt almost a decade ago when I first found that slice of Hungarian paradise. I will pack this dress, Anna will sew the strap, and it can be like old times again.

There is the wine purple Karan Millen dress that I wear to nearly ever formal occasion ever. This is not a dress anyone would need at Lake Balaton in Hungary. But I slide it into the suitcase nevertheless, in hopes that somehow we’ll be able to take the boat between England and Halifax. I wore this exact same dress on the Queen Mary while we sailed to Canada (via New York) about two years ago. We were excited for Zsolt’s new job, and thrilled with the glamour of the cruise ship. It was a highlight in a life full of wonderful moments. So maybe, if I pack the dress, we can live it again.

There is this raggedy dark blue tube top folded and resting on top of the pile of clothes for consideration (do I put it in the suitcase, or put it into the cardboard box for storage in my friend’ basement?). I concoct some possible outfit in my head, and slip it into the suitcase. Maybe if I pair it with my high-waist black skirt… maybe I can get away with wearing it again. And even better, maybe my husband will notice. This is tube top I wore one fantastic night in Nice while out at a nightclub with a group of Hungarians. I’d had some light mesh shirt over it for most of the evening, but when we ended up in a club’s crowded basement sweating and dancing like crazy, I’d headed to the ladies to cool down. Off came the mesh top, up went my hair into a high ponytail, and on went the vibrant blue headband that matched the sleeveless top. Walking out of the ladies, I passed that cute Hun I liked. He did a double take and said, ‘woah.’ . . . he liked me.


So, I’m here packing my suitcase for a trip that isn’t planned, and reliving memories imprinted into my clothing. And I stopped just now to write this blog post, because I didn’t even realize what I was doing until about 10 minutes ago. I’m taking action. I’m doing something to make this all real, and to have another summer, hopefully with a few new piece thrown into the wardrobe, to make all kinds of new memories.

The suitcase is now nearly full. It’s packed for Hungary. And whenever we get there, it’s going to be a damn good time.

Packing my suitacase

Today is meant for packing, except I’m a terrible early packer. Last minute is the best way to roll, but this year Zsolt and I will be moving across the Atlantic at some point (whenever the permit is granted . . .),  meaning now would be a great time to take the essentials: wedding photos, breakables, sentimental items I’d hate to lose. All that good stuff.

With that in mind, I’ve pulled down the suitcases and dusted them off.

So far the following has been packed:

DVDs I’ve borrowed and need to return to my parents

My wedding shall

Fake hair and boob

Post card collection (once belonging to my great grandmother)

Winter sweaters

Miska (our man-jug we bought in Budapest during a snowstorm last Christmas)

Our ‘home’ (a paper collage made during the marriage course)

. . .

But looking around our apartment, I don’t really feel like packing the rest of it. It’s hard to imagine the transfer of objects into a new environment. When we finally sort out the international move and pack all the boxes, I bet about half our stuff, if not more, will be left behind; from outdated magazines to little-worn clothing, books now unwanted, tip collected shelving, food that’ll expire, and even the couch – loved though it is – not being worth the cost of shipping.

It’s weird. The past 4.5 years in England we’ve been building a nest, and once we move that nest will be picked apart. Mind you, we arrived here with only three suitcases between us, so maybe it’s fitting to leave with a similar amount (plus the boxes shipped by boat). Our first night in England (back in our previous apartment) dinner was served directly from the one pot I’d ‘borrowed’ from my mother and we slept on jackets spread across a bare mattress.  We had airline cups and take away cutlery.  I remember feeling so damn proud once we’d finally bought spices and arranged them in the kitchen cupboard.

There is something very sad about moving, yet . . . something wonderful about a new home. Packing this weekend gives just a peek of that transition.

Change is quickly coming – I could do with a little change, so long as it’s awesome. And Canada is awesome.