Rare is the male National Herald reader who has not spent many a summer in Greece – and other warm beach destinations elsewhere in the world – walking around in swimming trunks, shirtless or with a pocketless tshirt, and wondering where in the world to place a wallet, loose change (remember, Euro coins are worth a whole lot more than dimes and nickels!), car keys, and a cell phone.
The keys alone will make the bathing suit/makeshift short pants stretch even tighter, not to mention make a gaping hole in the pocket’s mesh lining – possibly causing any loose change to fall out. Never mind the cell phone.
The solution, then, is a men’s carry all, sometimes humorously referred to as a “murse” (male purse). A “man-bag” is what others call it, to retain their masculine reputation.
Heaven forbid they are caught with a “fanny pack.” For some reason, that item elicits more ridicule than “highwaters” did in the 1970s (those are pants whose cuffs end well above the ankle bone). In searching for the ideal “murse” for my recent summer travels, I considered the fanny pack.
Long an advocate of “the older I get, the less I care about fitting into whatever image others consider ‘cooll” philosophy, I thought an added advantage of getting one would be to look “un-cool” on purpose. But the main reason I thought the fanny pack would work well for me is because throughout most of the year, I am accustomed to carrying my wallet, keys, and change in my pants pockets, and my cell phone in a holster attached to my belt. I can’t lose those by leaving them on a counter, a restaurant booth, the roof of my car, etc. The fanny pack, therefore, would be strapped to me at all times.
What finally made me forego the fanny pack was the size. The fanny pack was too small to suit my purposes, and a larger one strapped to my belt would not only look ridiculous (even to me), but would be absurdly bulky and uncomfortable.
Instead, I went with a camera bag, similar to the one pictured herein. It is made of durable canvas/nylon. Strong enough to withstand the elements and not to be ruined in the sand, as might a soft leather European carry-all. Also, it has multiple pockets, many of them padded, rendering it ideal to hold fragile items, like a cell phone and sunglasses.
Finally, it is appropriate for me to carry a camera bag because, after all, my cell phone is my camera – and my computer, and my stopwatch, and my flashlight, etc.
Of course, I still have to be careful not to lose it – and so do any of you who might give it a try. But other than that one caveat – a murse, for guys, is the only way to travel.
And for those who think it still looks too geeky, thanks for the trail of loose change you’ve left for the rest of us to pick up.