I packed my stuff thusly:
1 tube with my diploma
1 camera with gadgets
1 box of chocolates I bought in the adrenaline high after enrolling with no clear purpose
2 huge skeins of cashmere for a friend whom I bought for a Ravelry buddy from Back Home
1 huge skein of wool from Campolmi from Jean,another Ravelry buddy
2 huge skeins for finishing the sweater for my secret Etsy gift swatch and the mittens for Beth
1 huge pannettone for family to eat
5 bars of chocolate (big) for any handy purposes (mental note: get something for the librarians)
1 bag of cosmetics = gifts from grandma I got for me on my own
1 bag of hair polish and hair stuff for my dad (one has to love guys that use things up)
1 bag of various stuff for my mom
1 bottle of fresh olive oil
1 bag of dirty stuff to prevent things rattling in the suitcase
As the result, I dragged some 20 kilos of food. Could be worse.
I didn't have any tragic travel stories - it was a rare occurence when I didn't meet any idiots. The last time there were those two truck drivers who were truck drivers because they couldn't do anything else who hadn't showered for at least a week and who didn't guess that I might speak their language and talked in a sexually explicit manner about me and the other female traveller, a student from Vienna whom I translated all that stuff. We had a good laugh and the morale of the story is that you never know when Big Brother is listening. This time, I shared the compartment with three friendly and nice Australians and an Indian guy going to some conference to Vienna; the other co-travellers were two American girls going to Prague (or somewhere else en route of Vindobona express), two teenage girls who were teenage but nice, some indefinable folks and a girl who carried five heavy bags and a kitty carrier.
The kitty carrier held a baby ferret so I made some casual remark. I was shown the ferret and the girl was chatty so she explained that the bags suck but travelling with a cello and a saxophone is worse. I asked whether she's a musician and she said no, she was studying veterinary medicine... when a rat emerged from under her hair. Oh, you have a mousey, I said. No, it's a rat, replied the girl, adding And I have a python, too. I laughed, thinking it a good joke but meantime she opened one of the bags and took out a python in a mesh bag. The most interesting fellow traveller ever.