I finally gave in to European fashion and bought a "man bag," which is in reality just a purse. When in Rome, as they say. Since it's hot and I like to carry stuff, the bag is coming in very handy. I'm moving away from the Maxpedition organizer that opens like a book because it takes up too much space. I'm putting my kit in the purse -- flashlight in the most accessible pocket, and the rest in a plastic bag. You know, "break glass in case of emergency."

I'm wondering whether I might need to prepare differently when I'm abroad. I have to say they seem to have a very rapid emergency response system in the cities. Also, this place is very safe. I can't carry a sidearm, but I think it's OK.