Today at lunch Greg said he can’t believe that this ship is going down to Australia, then up through Hawaii and on to Seattle so that it can do the Alaska cruise. Next year. “What ship are we on?” said Moiya.
“The Solstice,” said Greg.
“Oh. I have been on it so long, I think of it as home,” said Moiya. “And I can tell you, I don’t want to leave home.”
“Write a note to your kids and tell them that – just go on from Singapore to Australia, and on and on, and when you finally die, the ship can just drop your ashes in the sea.”
There is a little bit of that feeling in all of us.
On other matters, I have been going to the dining room every morning to check the lunch time menu. It is posted on the “My Time Dining” side of the ship. I have been waiting for a repeat of the Balinese Style Chicken and Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce. Today I found it on the menu, along with Papaya with a Hint of Lime cold soup. “I am doing the cooking and inviting everyone for lunch at the dining room,” I told Greg and Dave at the in-depth 11:00 am lecture on Malaysia.
Ordering was hard, for we just wanted Marius to bring us sticks of vegetable, beef and chicken sticks of satay, like the ones they serve on the streets of Malaysia. “Just put them in the middle of the table,” said Wyona. “This is an all-you-can-eat-buffet, isn’t it,” said Wyona. To make it easy for the cooks in the kitchen the server wanted to know how many times to order these three dishes to change them from an appetizer size to a main course.
Another server came by and laughed when he saw us. “We have been eating this in the crew section of the ship for the last three days,” he said. “You should have been eating down there with us. I ate 11 sticks last night,” he said.
“We have been trying to get down to that dining room, to where you eat, but they keep a line between us. We have always suspected you are getting better food down there.”
I have a half an hour before I go to Art 101 this afternoon. The class is causing Moiya a lot of stress – she doesn’t like the mess, or maybe I should call it the freedom that comes with watercolour.
“I want a face on this body. Here, just put a dob of red here, and there the face is,” said the teacher. That just doesn’t work for Moiya or me. This morning we had another water colour class, and David just brought back a lovely print, a gift from an art lecture he attended.
“I have never seen water colour classes given on a boat,” said Wyona.
“We are so many days at sea,” said Greg. “We are going right around the world on a boat and they have to figure out things for people to do who don’t want to go for $200 massages, or work out on the treadmill all day. What is popular are the classes they run in the internet lounge. So many classes there and people are standing shoulder to shoulder to listen in.”
On the point of classes, lectures and shows on the boat, we keep going to the Love and Marriage Game Show which is hard to run on this boat, given the demographics of the people who are sailing. It is the first time this boat has gone through the Suez and around India and the trip has attracted seasoned cruisers. This morning at 10 am in the elevator, I caught the scent of the specialty coffees offered to these cruises from 8 am to 10 am. Their speciality lounge was closed down and they were on their way back to their rooms, carrying their coffees. These are not the kind of people who join up for the Love and Marriage Game. One couple said they had been on the game, many years ago, and then the husband piped up, “And since that day, I have been sworn to silence. I don’t talk at all.” Either the couples are too smart to go on the show, or they have rehearsed and refined the answers to the questions that could be problematic to their marital happiness once the show is over. And those are the questions that make the rest of us laugh.
We have heard a new question. What is it that your wife likes to do out of the house? Between the five of us, we have been making guesses about how others in our group would answer that question. Dave says he like to fix things. Greg says he likes to go to lectures. The answer given by most men about their wives is ... my wife likes to shop.
This is not true in our cases. “I don’t like to shop,” said Wyona. “I shop because we have to have groceries, because someone else needs new clothes, because an appliance needs to be replaced.” Here is my answer as to what I like to do out of the home she continued. “I like to cruise. And Greg, what do you mean by saying you like to go to lectures. Where do you go to them all? On cruises! So give it up and just say it. You like to cruise as well.
Well, way to open up my eyes, though I say to everyone, there is something about saying that phrase that makes me uncomfortable . Wyona points out that years ago cruising was absolutely out of sight as something a person might do. But now many people cruise. “Not my friends,” I countered. But that really isn’t true. Still ... the word cruise can be softened by saying I like to travel, a phrase that means the same thing.
David says he likes to fix things. He hasn’t been doing much of that on the boat. He wakes early – and nothing really begins before 10 am, except breakfast. He does go to everything – participates in the ship OlympiX; today he went to a lecture on how the engine room runs, as well as the destination lecture on Port Klang. As well he goes to the 9 am Bible Study Group – now a person really has to have read every possible thing to do in every hour of the day, to have found that group.
Yup. A good question for all of us to answer. What is it we like to do outside of the home? Not much question about what we like to do.