I am in denial that I leave in four days.

Most of the trips I have made in the past have been planned months and months in advance, usually because I was an impoverished student and a) needed to book the tickets years in advance to get them cheap enough and b) needed the thought of a holiday somewhere far away to get me through the essays and reading.

This time I booked my tickets a grand total of 17 DAYS before I leave. The practical details are going ok. My passport is stamped with a Bangladeshi visa, my arm has just stopped aching from the vaccinations, my bank account is still in pain from discovering the cost of malaria tablets and I actually had a semi-successful shopping trip on Saturday trying to buy clothes suitable for project visits in temperatures in the mid to high 30°s (low 90°s if you prefer farenheit), in Belgium in March (max temperature today 11°c)

But the reason I am in complete denial still can be summed up in one word: packing.

Now you might not think that packing is such a big deal. What, write a list, choose a bag and it will take an hour at most? right?

Wrong. Because I have a packing phobia. I am sure there is an official latin name for it, or if there isn’t, there should be. The thought of it fills me with a dread rarely ever experienced in the rest of my life. And the act of packing can reduce me to tears. I have been found on several occasions curled up in the faetel position in a corner mumbling incoherently.

Don’t believe me? Ask my family. They can fully substantiate my story. They might even argue that I am not emphasising how truly bad my particular condition is.

So this is why I am in denial that this time next week I will have just arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Because to get there, I have to pack.

Please send help!