A carpet, anyway you look at it, is the best way to travel. You can take it with you anywhere — into the green forest or the courtyard of a mosque.

Cards are the best travelling books. Shuffle them around for different pastimes. In times of distress use one of them to send a message.

You will need a cup to share, and a blanket of quilted gold to keep yourself and the others warm.

Refrigerators and thermostats make excellent chronometers, but are heavy. The best are internal, assuming they have been properly set.

You will need a phrase book, if you do not speak the language. Beware of the section, “Useful Phrases.” They are not.

You will never find the word “lover” under the section “Useful Phrases.”

Survival in solitude is finding yourself alone on a roller coaster and there’s only one button marked PANIC and knowing, once you’ve pushed the button, the ride is over.

Survival in America is learning a lot of different dialects. Swimming through the countryside like a fish you must not only hear as you listen, but learn to speak the local idiom. Survival depends on remembering yourself and keeping the keys to all the doors hooked in your mind, strapped like a holster for your knowledge. Survival in America is learning to say “Yes, Please” and “No Thank You Sir/M’am,” and knowing when to write Ms., and getting the right inflection for “yeah!” and “wow!” and being able to read the Constitution without glasses, and having at your fingertips the knowledge of what kind of glass for which wine as well as knowing which wines not to boycott.