Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recap of a Day at Sea and Croatia

Our first night on the ship was uneventful. We had the first of our many identical breakfasts: I had eggs over easy, a side of wheat toast, bacon, and a chocolate croissant. I had this breakfast, or a very nearly identical version of it (later adding some melon), every morning of the ten day cruise. Why don't my pants fit anymore...

The day at sea was mostly a blur. We walked around the ship, looked in the shops, I think we caught a movie or two. We swam in the pool on deck, the water in which swayed with the motion of the ship. We also got into a hot tub, but we discovered the jets didn't work. We used this knowledge to later.

We had a good lunch, although I waited forever for a salmon burger in this long line, and everyone who ordered salmon burgers after me were just bunched all up. When the first one came, some bitch with a National Review tag on took it and just left. It was mine, which had been cooking for longer because I ordered it several minutes before she even got into line (they apparently took ten minutes to cook).

Now, the National Review is some conservative think-tank that meets to secretly discuss their extreme prejudice in private. They all ate together in one section of the dining hall during the same seating time (luckily not ours). They had their own excursions, which meant they could be assured that no liberals might sully up the conversation on their bus tours. They even had these stupid name tags on blue lanyards that hung around their neck that were emblazoned with "NATIONAL REVIEW" in white letters. I guess it was a warning to talk slowly around them.

So now I am spending the rest of the cruise watching these people, looking for things to criticize. For one thing, they're mostly old as dirt or young adults (i.e. yuppies and their children). What few who are middle aged Gen Xers are single, fat and white. Ninety percent of the men are balding, and the other 10% part their hair on the side. They are predominantly men.

What women there are in the group are attached at the arm to a man. They range from young trophy wife to gracefully-aged former beauty queen to homely yet practical housewives with chin length hair and a smile permanently bolted on.

I also cannot help but eavesdrop on many of them. Most of the time, it’s inane babble about business details, wrought with jargon so impenetrable I can scarcely even make out what industry they’re in. But one thing I heard more than once was Obama bashing. Of course, all this was going on while Cheney and the Bush Administration are being investigated back home for crimes against humanity stemming from the wholesale slaughter of prisoners in Afghanistan.

Also, I want to just say before I discuss Croatia that I support the plan Republicans claim Obama is pushing, but not the one Democrats have proposed. Give me universal, single payer healthcare, none of this penalty-for-not-paying-for-private-insurance bullshit.

Croatia was an interesting place. I couldn’t point it out on a map before I visited it, and I’m still a little sketchy even now. Our excursion for this stop was to kayak in the ocean to a cave, where we could snorkel, then kayak back. I had never been in a kayak before, but my wife had done it many times previously.

When we got to the cave, we got ham sandwiches and went snorkeling for a bit. I had snorkeled a lot as a kid, but I had trouble this time. Every time I put my face under and breathed through the tube, I would hyperventilate. My wife had the same problem. I ended up just using the mask to look while holding my breath. There wasn’t much to see besides sand and minnows.

We kayaked back and took a bus to the ship. We looked around and bought a shot glass (my wife bought one from every place we visited except Sicily… and I’ll explain why not in another post). I didn’t bring my camera because I didn’t want to risk it on the water. Here’s the view of Croatia from the ship:

We got back and watched some TV in the room until dinner (I think it was Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark). After dinner, we saw a comedian named Richard Gauntlett, who had a hilarious joke about being arrested. The cop is reading him his rights, “Anything you say can and will be used in a court of law,” so he says, “Please don’t hit me again, officer.” Hysterical. We came back to our room and found this on the bed:

Those wacky cabin stewards!

For my next update, I’ll discuss Corfu.

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