the ship in India. They applied for them when we first joined but apparently
they take up to two months. Luckily we will be making our way back to India in January and again in April so hopefully by then we can see a few places. I’ve been told I’m not really missing much but it would like to determine that for myself. I can only see a little bit of Mumbai from the top deck of the ship and it is very hot and humid here.
It’s only day 1 of being stuck on board for 5 days and I’ve already watched
Elf twice and finished a needlepoint project. I’ve pretty much eaten all of the
snacks I have stored in my room and I’ve now become so bored that I am writing a blog about my boredom. So here are some fun stories I’ve been collecting about ship life.
There are many nationalities working on board. In fact, including the 4
singers there are about 7 Americans. Everyone else speaks English but sometimes not perfectly. I find myself speaking slower and in a strange European accent when I talk to everyone, like they will understand me better if I speak the same broken English they do. Also, sarcasm doesn’t really translate very well across lingual lines. I saw a room steward carrying a cooler full of ice down the hallway and I asked him,
“Do you have a human head in there?” He said,
“Do you have a human head in there?” and this time I pointed at the cooler.
“Human?” I said,
“Ya! A human head!” He said,
“Why?” I thought about it and couldn’t really figure out why he would or why I thought it was funny in the first place and that’s just about the worst
feeling in the world. I just got uncomfortable and walked away. This kind of
stuff happens to me all the time.
Also, people from eastern Europe do not have the same cheery disposition as
people from other countries. It’s kind of a rule that if you pass someone in a
corridor that they should look up at you, smile and say hello. Not only do these people not say hello, but they stare at you like you’ve done something wrong. It’s very awkward and then you start to feel like you did do something wrong. And then every time you see them you try to make up for the last encounter by being even cheerier but that seems to make it worse. I’ve been told to not take it personally but it’s hard not to.
The guests on board, however, are primarily Americans. They are also almost all over the age of 65. We have afternoon tea on board everyday at 4pm. Part of my job as Social Hostess is to walk around and greet people and, well, socialize. Everyday I take my pass around and people are sipping their tea and reading their kindles and nooks. You can change the font size on those things so you can make it large print if you want. These people have the font so large that there’s only about six words on every page. They have to keep “turning the page.”
There’s also a language barrier with the guests. You could be talking with
someone for 10 minutes before you realize they’ve just been nodding at
everything you say. My 95-year-old grandfather does this same thing because he can’t hear anything you’re saying. I’ve started to recognize the nod so I know when to keep it brief. My favorite talks in tea are the ones that start with, “Well I tell you what, anyone’s better than that Obama.” Then I put the nod into effect myself, accompanied by a smile and an eye glaze.
Now I’m listening to Christmas music and wondering what New York City looks
like these days. I’ve heard it hasn’t been very cold there at all yet and that
annoys me. I thought I was cheating winter by going on this cruise and if I come
back to find out I missed the most mild winter of my life I’m going to be really
pissed. I guess I’ll go watch Elf again and try to cheer up and wait for The
Maldives, our next non-Indian port.