If you do a fair amount of travelling, it is helpful to carry a few essentials with you. My list of "must brings" include sealed packages of kleenex (emergency TP); a personal pharmacopeia that includes melatonin, excedrin, pepto, imodium, a multi-vitamin, benedryl (for random anaphylaxis and insect gnawings) and claritin; a compact Winsor & Newton watercolor kit, Arches #0 brush and paper pad; mints; poisonous tree frog (Wally); playing cards.
But one of the most essential of essentials has eluded me. Over and over I've been stuck in a hotel, or in an airport, or on the road, without access to. . .
The BBC World Service.
Yes, that makes me a world-class geek. But I need my fix of English-language news and sports and other oddness, which means I need access to a radio. Preferably a small radio.
Optimally, the Sony ICF-SW100S shortwave radio.
It's been discontinued by Sony, dambit, but it's still fantastic. The review of this radio on the Universal Radio site gives you some insight into its killer combination of size and power. It can be played closed or open. It can be programmed for 50 stations with a 24 city global clock. It can be thrown at an assailant or held in the hand as a chunky yawara. It tastes awful. It has a dual clock/alarm to make sure you vacate your room prior to the arrival of unwanted visitors, like the Kaiser or Brunhilde the Difficult.
In any event, now that it's been discontinued - the sad fate of so many Sony products these days - I wonder if I'll ever find one.
If you've got a favorite portable shortwave radio you like, let me know. Until I identify an alternative, this is the one I'm pining for.