Friday, October 28, 2011

Wrapping up the Cruise

Well, that’s about the end of the cruise. Today, we docked in Porto Vecchio, another port in Corsica, this time, facing Italy. (Still France, though – Corsica is owned by the French in its entirety.) Tour went up to Bonifacio (this wasn’t the tour I’d signed up for, but it was the tour that was going, so I went with it), which was a medieval city built on the top of a hill. Nice views. As per usual, there will be photographs, when the internet is not costing me a dollar a minute.

Other than that, the city was pretty much like every other city in Corsica, which means that it had shops selling All Things Corsican (olive oil, honey, coral, and (for some reason) knives). I actually scored when I found a shop selling stuff made out of cork. Apparently, cork is also big in Corsica, and some enterprising dude handcrafted some stuff out of cork (as opposed to just stoppers for wine bottles) and I picked up another gift there. So, basically, I came out of the shore excursion with photos and gifts.

(We pause for a moment to note my current location. It’s nearing 11:00 p.m. on the last night of the cruise, and I’m in the lounge, alone. There were some people here, talking, and they just bailed. There is, apparently, a party up on deck – or, at least, there was. I am curious as to whether it’s still going. It was scheduled to start at 9:30. Then again, it’s cold, dark, and windy; the sea is fairly choppy; and we have to get up really early tomorrow. If I’m going by the amount of suitcases already lined up in the hallway, outside cabin doors, the party must have ended pretty early. I just finished my packing and decided to come upstairs to the lounge to use my last 14 minutes of internet. I was tempted to go upstairs and join the party for a few minutes first, but I didn’t want to go up and down the stairs again to pick up my netbook … and I’ve already packed my jacket, In any event, the boat just rocked quite nicely on the sea, so I’m wondering if anyone else is still up there drinking and/or attempting to dance. Perhaps I’ll check after I’ve posted, when it’ll be even later!)

In any event, I haven’t said much about my fellow cruisers. Can happily report that (although perhaps not party animals), they don’t appear to include anyone like the crazy racist woman on that last trip. This whole group seems pretty normal, sane and friendly. I even met someone who knows someone I work with. Small world and all that.

(Tee hee. The crew is cleaning up, and doesn’t quite know I’m in here. I hear singing. Enthusiastic, but not particularly good singing. I’m trying to type a little louder to alert him of my presence, but there’s only so hard I can hit the keys without sounding like I’m in a flame war.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah, the peeps. Was seated at dinner last night with an interesting couple. He’s Swiss; she’s (originally) Polish. They met, and then corresponded by mail for 8 years, while she lived under the Communist regime and was unable to leave the country. (I’m not even entirely sure that she ever received letters back from him. English is not their first language. Or second, for that matter.) Still, it’s a great romantic story that they ultimately got married, raised a family, and seem very happy now. VERY happy. I don’t think you could scrub the smile off her face if you tried. They had a real “carpe diem” thing going on. Every night at dinner, the menu includes various courses, and, always, the “Chef’s Recommendation” – in which the chef recommends one item in each course. And every night of the cruise, they each order the Chef’s Recommendation in its entirety. I mean, that’s what he’s recommending, right? So they’re going to order it, and enjoy every bite. Over dinner, I got a lot of philosophical tidbits from them, mostly about living life to the fullest while you can, but also about how having your health is more important than money, and that you should judge a person by the thoughts in his head and not the suit that he wears. It’s all stuff I’ve heard countless times before, but it somehow resonates when you’re hearing it from someone who has really lived it, and knows whereof she speaks.

Singing crewman just came in. I just typed that he’d stopped, but he was just changing songs. Came walking in the lounge singing fairly loud. Saw me, and I sorta bit my lip, as I was typing about him. I thought he muttered “sorry” as he passed by, but he kept right on singing. More power to you, dude.

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