Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Disgruntled Table Mates

Pre-planning works when there are three people and eight suitcases to move out of the hotel, down La Rambla and onto the Blue Tourist Bus. That was about the last thing we planned as we went to bed last night. Greg noted that our walk turned many heads – we hope other tourists who were wondering how they were going to make the same trip. And in fact, one couple stopped our progress for no reason other than to ask, “Are you going cruising?” and “Why are you getting to the ship so early. You know you can’t board until 2 pm.” But we had this special knowledge: table changes are done first thing at 11:30 a.m. So our journey to the boat was easy and we were left with only one last item to plan. Wyona has wanted a window seat for the dining room experience and the only way was to get to the Dining Room right at 11:30 am and ask for that change to be made. The waiter led us to our middle table which gave us a great view of the staircase, in the middle of which sits a Grand piano and a small stage for dinner performances. Still the desire for a window view prevailed, since sitting for a formal dinner with a window view and at the same time having the ship leaves ports seemed like an attainable dream. Wyona and Greg made the desired switch ... while I watched the luggage and had lunch. 

“Are you the three Canadians we were told would be at this table,” the first people we sat with asked. “Yes, “ said Wyona, we asked for a table change. “So did we,” said Marilyn and Ron. We are here with our relatives, and the four of us don’t want to talk to each other over every meal. Fine. The next couple who sat down said, “Are you the Canadians we were told would be at this table.” 

“Whoops,”said Wyona. “Did you ask for a table seating change?” “Yes,” said Barbara. “What is this,” asked Wyona. “Is everyone at this table disgruntled? Is that what they do? Put all of the complainers at the same table?”

And so the evening of conversation began – all of us ready to discover who our dinner companions would be – Barbara and Sam from Maryland (where apparently the 600,000 who live in that State have no right to vote for their president). Politics is usually a topic we leave for the last day of the tour, but at the disgruntled patrons table, anything can happen.


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