Before I describe our next port of call, let me catch up a few things I should have mentioned earlier. There's no point going back to the exact blogs; readers don't do that. Just a few weirdos like myself would ever do it.
So, about the Olivia entertainment. I mean the shows they put on in the evening. Our favorites are always the comics, and of course, all of Olivia's entertainment is about women. The "regular" entertainers hired by the cruise line must go do something else, although they retained a combo and a vocalist for ballroom dancing every evening. We love it, and we can't do it anywhere else. In the Tampa Bay area, where we live, certain lesbian groups do organize dances sometimes, but it's always loud, sternum-pounding disco, heavy metal, rap or country western, as if all of us were under 30. We tried going a couple times, even wrote to the organizers, requested dancing music all night, and made absolutely no progress. For example, for a Valentine s Dance, they didn't even have "My Funny Valentine" available to play. So we don't give them our money anymore. And the "tea dances" the boys have on Sunday afternoons? No way. So, ballroom dancing on an Olivia vacation is very important to us, and we are always delighted to go when they have it.
As to the comics, of course their material is topical,either about current events, being lesbians, or both. This time, due to the age of the crowd, they all had material on aging, and it was hilarious. So Elvira Kurt, a Hungarian-Canadian, went on the first "real" entertainment night, and you can't help but see yourself. I think a lot of people wet themselves laughing. Unfortunately she also had some parenting material, which isn't as funny to us, but a lot of lesbians have kids these days. Yeah, they have a lot of means of doing this, God knows why! We always thought one of the great things about being lesbians was not having kids, and not having discussions about kids. Now they expect us to trot out pictures of the grandkids. No, we're childfree for a reason, thanks. But hey! Your kids are paying our Social Security, so we sure appreciate that! And we do enjoy the schadenfreude when we hear about the dear little ones' antics. No, really!
So, Joyce forgot to pack her snore stop, and though you can find a lot of things for nasal difficullties, including things with the name "Snore-Stop" in the local language, nothing works on Joyce's snoring like the real thing. I mean, we guess so, although since we have separate bedrooms, she doesn't use it at home, and we haven't tested it. Maybe by now nothing works. I usually whistle to stop her. The idea is it will disturb her enough to make her turn over without waking her. This is somewhat true, except she starts in again so fast, it's usually pointless. Not to mention she snores in every possible sleeping position. And we travel with sleep machines, drugs and earplugs and use separate beds and honestly, the things that have worked best for me are sleeping in the closet or the bathroom. She tells me I snore, too, and I don't doubt it, but apparently she can't hear me over her own snoring. I wake myself up snoring; she doesn't. Is it a bone of contention? It's the bone. If we tried to sleep together at home, we'd be long since divorced. Luckily, sleeping separately just makes us gladder to see one another when we get up.
One thing we always enjoy doing when we travel is people-watching, and because we are traveling, we see a lot of luggage and a lot of shoes. Women, please! What are you doing to your feet? You're only issued one pair for life, you know? Human bodies weren't designed to walk balanced on sticks. Get out of the ho-heels and be comfortable. And men, hello! You're in an airport: luggage, crowds, escalators, people movers. Flip flops are not going to protect you. And stop wearing those horrible black droopy socks with your sandals. You look like slobs.
We were going up and down escalators in some airport, I want to say Prague, when we came across a great big heel stuck in an escalator. The young man I was next to, and I, looked at each other and started laughing. Joyce saw it too, and I guess we were all wondering how that must have looked when it happened, and what she's limping around on now. I'm fine with people destroying their feet. It's their body and their life, but please don't endanger me with your foolish choices, and don't expect me to rescue you, either. You get stuck in something, you're staying right there until someone else shows up with the Jaws of Life.
And the luggage! We each have two pieces, a hold-all and a convertible suitcase/backpack. They don't roll. We can travel for months like that, and in varying climates, and bring back souvenirs. Some people, apparently, need a troop of porters for their trek into the jungles of . . . oh, I don't know, Puerto Rico? The first hilarious thing I saw was this poor guy lugging two huge pink suitcases on wheels, each large enough to contain a human body. Next to him was a female hauling one small black case on wheels, and carrying a pink pocketbook. Somebody's a dupe, and it isn't her. But she is a moron, because she doesn't yet understand what travel is about. That is, it's not about impressing other epeople with your wardrobe. It's about learning, maybe learning about yourself and how to be a human.
Another time, there was this couple. She had two enormous rolling bags; he had one medium. A porter went to pick up one of hers, and it was so heavy, the handle ripped right out of it.
Finally, the French wedding trip. She has a cart piled high with about five suitcases, including an enormous garment bag for the wedding dress. He has a shoulder bag and a skinny little garment bag for his tux. We're in line waiting to check in, and she's on his case about moving her crap. Joyce leans across the velvet rope and whispers in his ear: "Run." He actually nodded, as if he had already been considering it. She had long nails, hair out to Mars, ho-heels, and was screaming on a phone. Believe me, if he doesn't run, they're both morons.
Despite the fact that you're reading this on the internet, we're no slaves to technology. I can barely get Joyce to carry her ultra-simple cell phone out of the house, and we didn't have any on this trip because neither of ours works in Europe. We had a tiny crappy netbook that was just great for e-mail but not at all tempting to use otherwise. So when we got to hotels and the TVs were these huge honking HD flatscreens with mulltiple menus and remotes, we just turned them off. I don't travel to watch TV. Even when they attempt to greet us by name "Good evening, Mr. Lesbian!" I'm not impressed. You want to talk to me? Call me on the hotel phone.
As we made our way through a typical day, there was a lot of self-talking and reminding. We would always be asking ourselves questions: Did I take my pills? Do I have my passport? Did I lock the safe? Am I travelling with an idiot? Joyce called this communication with our other selves and used it as an excuse for her corporeal self to forget anything my corporeal self said to her, claiming I must have actually been speaking to one of her alternate personalities at the time, the one currently off-duty, apparently. This led to having the same Q & A sessions over and over again, mostly while trying to get ready to go somewhere. If anyone had been eavesdropping on us, they would have been quite justified in thinking we were unqualified to be wandering around in countries not our own.
Well, that's enough catching up for one entry, so let me throw in a couple of pictures, and you guess where they are. Answers at the bottom of the next entry.