That's it - that's our world for the next 8 months. Two samsonsites, two rucksacks, and a little knapsack each for carry-on and day-tripping. Total weight is a little over 80 kilos. One bag won't be opened till Sydney as it contains Summer clothes. The rest are organized like data striped across a high-availability database architecture (what now?): There's a little bit of everything across all of them, so that if one, or even two of them go missing, we're still in business. Each of the four big ones is tagged with a metal Global Bag Tag - thanks Cheryl! - and the knapsacks contain books, diaries, Nintendos, playing cards and so on (many of which were gifts from friends and family).
The mood here now is unexpectedly normal. Packing for long stays is something we're used to, so we're in a familiar frame of mind, and everything feels like it should do.
We had an Irish Wake in my brother's house this evening, which we unfortuntely had to leave quite early. It was the best way to say goodbye to my family - all together and smiling. Nina and Sara's cousins tried to hide them under a bed when it was time to go, but to no avail.
This time tomorrow, we'll all be 4 hours out from Beijing. At last. Next post, Great Firewall of China permitting, will be from that city.