Is my friend going to smell bad after a week with no water?!?!
March 6, 2010 8:07 PM   Subscribe

Picking up my friend from the airport tomorrow. He's been in Chile since the earthquake there. What to bring?

I'm thinking along the lines of wet wipes/cleansing stuff, since he hasn't had electricity or running water since last Friday. We only have a 40 minute ride to his house, but I want to make his life easier for those 40 minutes. What would be nice to have at the airport after you'd been through a major disaster like that?
posted by krisptoria to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
I can imagine immensely enjoying a nice, cold coke. Or pepsi. I'm not soda-ist. Maybe bring a little cooler with various sodas.
posted by stavrogin at 8:09 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

A hug. A drink. And someone who doesn't demand conversation or keep asking about the details but will keep talking about banal local stuff anyway even if I'm feeling tired and just want to crash.
posted by wackybrit at 8:11 PM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

A clean shirt, clean underwear, clean pair of socks that he can duck into a washroom and change into before you're on your way. Let him leave the washing for when he can savor it properly.
posted by contessa at 8:23 PM on March 6, 2010

Sodas are served on the airplane and sold at the airport. So are wet wipes on many international flights. I'm sure your friend will be fine for 40 minutes in a car; all you need to tell him is that dinner is being cooked at home, and the sheets in the guestroom are crispy clean, and the bathroom is stocked with soap and fluffy towels.

If it were me, and this was my first visit to your town, I'd like to be handed a travel guide or an itinerary of all that I could look forward to over the next few days.
posted by halogen at 8:25 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Since you say you are taking him to his house, does he live alone? If so, I would bring a couple of bags of groceries, a bottle of wine if he drinks, things for an easy supper and a simple breakfast. I would appreciate not having to worry about fresh food and provisions right away, were I in that situation.

Also, I'd try to follow his cues as far as the conversation on the ride home. If he seems to want to talk about his experiences, I'd be a good listener; if he seems overwhelmed and still processing it all, I wouldn't ask questions, just make benign small talk. Who knows, he may even want to nap during the drive?
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:34 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I suspect your friend is going to want to get home as soon as possible. Do you have access to his house? If so, have it already stocked with milk, bread, eggs, juice, some fruit and veggies, etc. And make sure there's a bar of soap, shampoo, razor, and clean towel in the bathroom.

If you can't stock his place beforehand, just bring a bag of stuff in the car, in a cooler if necessary, and bring this stuff into his house when you get there, and go ahead and put it away.

You might bring a favorite treat of his, if you know his favorite kind of candy bar or donut or style of coffee.

I agree not to make him talk, and don't expect him to interact on a high level. He might be ready to chat, but maybe not. And when you get to his place, ask him if he wants company or not, and stay or leave as he requests.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:52 PM on March 6, 2010

I'd want something that smells nice. Preferably something that smells comfortable and like home. Maybe a pillow of his in your car, or clean jacket, or something smaller that has a nice scent he can fidget with and hold and smell quietly while talking or listening to you. Airports, planes, and all the people and places he's been will have been either smelling of horrible events, antiseptic cleaners, other people's stink, mold and rot or worse. Scent is a neglected aspect of stress and travel, and can really put someone's mind in a more comfortable place. Even just something familiar like a hot cup of coffee or tea can work wonders through smell alone.
posted by Mizu at 1:51 AM on March 7, 2010

Wipes? Don't bring wipes, just let him hop in the shower when he gets to your house. Wipes are unpleasant, and for situations when a shower is not just around the corner.
posted by Dasein at 9:27 AM on March 7, 2010

A nice block of tasty cheese and an icy cold beverage of preference.
posted by gaby at 10:01 AM on March 7, 2010

I don't know where you or your friend's proclivities lie, but the thing I'd want most after a long flight and stressful vacation would be a big fat joint.
posted by Jawn at 2:19 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

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