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Monday, September 12, 2011

Not dead; just lazy. And it's football season!

One reason I'm so behind in posting these blogs is the topic I want to get into: absolute exhaustion! And this time I can't blame the altitude, or not having enough recovery time. We had plenty of nap time, and slept well at night except for that shithole of a train. And we were taking vitamin B tablets, which are real uppers to us. In fact, without them, I don't know what would have happened. Probably just wouldn't have taken those excursions, or gotten off the ship, or something. I did lose seven pounds and two pants sizes, but once we came home exhausted (and after the accident which isn't till the end so I can't discuss it yet) we were pretty beat. Pretty much from Auschwitz on, we were tired all the time. It translated into going to bed as soon after dinner as we could, and preparing everything for the next day before going to sleep. So we survived. Maybe next time we'll take one of those geezer tours, but here's the thing. My 80-year old aunt took a geezer tour of Germany and Austria last fall. She said she didn't really enjoy her two-week enlistment in the Wehrmacht, because that's what it felt like to her and my cousin, who went with her. Kind of reminded me of my ten-day stint in the Russian Navy in 2008.

Now, here's how you can tell Spain is socialist (and no, it's not an epithet; far from it). I needed moleskin and the farmacia had two kinds. I couldn't decide which (cut or uncut) so I said I'd take both. They refused to sell me both "in case someone else needed it." While it doesn't say much for their stocking practices, it was a very sweet example of how bad they are at capitalism. Viva Espana! I took the uncut.

We had a few little issues with the ship. One issue that really didn't bother us all that much was that the foward elevator kept taking vacations on our time. As long as we aren't in a great big hurry, we can climb stairs. Just gimme a railing.

In our cabin was a flat screen TV and an iPod dock and probably some other shit. We ignored all electronics. But also in our cabin, there were some things they should fix. Like, there are something like 16 lights in the bathroom. It's a real sauna in there when you take a shower, and great for drying laundry after. There's no such thing as turning some of them off. It's all or nothing. Also, they have these low-flow toilets, which are great for the environment. Except for one thing: plumbing engineers, do not make the bottom of the toilet bowl flat. If you can't guess why, let me just say it causes a lot of extra flushing.

Outside the cabin, there was the lounge issue. They kept it freezing in there for no discernable reason. Every night we told them to turn the air down. And then we told them to turn it down farther. People were bringing blankets from their cabins to see the shows. Every day it was the same until Joyce got hold of the captain. Speaking of the captain, he never shut up. All day long he would interrupt sleep and conversation with position and speed announcements, or tell us they were doing some drill or other. Our presence was never required, so why? Honestly, we expect you to get the ship where it needs to go. Don't bother us with details. If I need a detail like that, I'll ask for it. Not to mention, they had a whole channel devoted to showing where in the Med the ship was, the speed, the wind, the wave size. So please shut up.

One other thing that amused, but didn't effect me at all, was that some people apparently were trying to smoke in their cabins and somehow got caught. It was probably their stewards who smelled it and ratted them out. You know you can't smoke indoors, especially in a cabin, because the fabrics absorb the smell. The whole port side of the ship outdoors is a smoking area, and they have plenty of ashtrays, so what's the problem with going there? Joyce used to smoke and she never tried to sneak, so it really pissed her off.

Okay, here are some more ship pictures, since we're talking ship here:


People getting into a tender, taken from above. Joyce hates tenders.


Joyce refusing to get on a tender.


Me with nice people we met on the trip. In front of more ship art.



Answer to last entry's quiz:

Tomb of the Two Kings, Plock Cathedral, Poland

Close-up of the pen of the Anonymous Author, Budapest, Hungary

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