Just the most massively useful thing a globetrotting backpacking mama can carry. It has immense practical value. You can use it to
1. Cover a baby at nap-time, in Oman
2. Protect a baby from insects, by draping it over the stroller, in the Amazon Jungle
3. Provide half an hour of entertainment to 3-9 month olds, with the stole fluttering within reach and throwing interesting patterned shadows around, pretty much anywhere
4. Plonk kids on one, at the Bondi beach
5. As a beach towel to dry off post the nth swim, since it dries as fast as it gets wet, at Copacabana
6. Double up as sarong for self, in Salvador
7. Double up as skirt or lungi to enter temples which wouldn’t allow shorts, in Thailand
8. As a weather shield against the sun, the rain and the wind
And still use it as a stole if it survives the above.
More importantly, it has immense psychological value. With the stole in your backpack, you will never feel guilty about having left anything behind!
And hence the phrase that has made it’s way into globe trotting slang ‘you know that 50 countries down backpacking mama, she’s a supermom who knows where her stole is’
P.S. a medium colored, mal-mal piece works best.
*credits* the towel from Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy.