Monday, April 14, 2008

All around the world (or the myth of fingerprints)

EMBARKATION

Immediately before we hopped aboard the ship, Travis and I had to make our dinner arrangements. We asked to be seated at a large table with young English-speaking people for the late dinner seating each night. Since we were surrounded by throngs of European geriatrics in the departure terminal, the odds of success looked were on par with the odds that one could be in England for ten straight days without any precipitation.

After gorging ourselves at the lunch buffet and roaming the ship, we curled up pool side with books and our respective hats that we'd purchased at H&M the previous evening. My head covering gave off the aura of a lazy German tourist (made of straw) while Travis looked like a mafioso kingpin (white top hat with a black pin-stripe). I removed both hat and shirt and drew some looks from the few bikini clad 15-year-old females across the deck. Perhaps this was because when I removed my hat they saw the horns of a Jew for the first time? I had little time to ponder this possibility, because out of nowhere, a hundred Neapolitan 18-22 year old males swarmed upon us. They wore g-strings as bathing suits, if you could even call them that. It was pretty much like sexy female nighttime apparel with benefits...and yes, I'm talking about the GUYS here. For them wearing a mere Speedo would have been like wearing a fur coat in the Sahara...it was THAT bad. Travis and I really couldn't tell what was going on. I'm under the impression that the ancient roman aura of bisexuality still is prevalent in Italy, but in such mass quantities? Wow.

At this juncture some might say if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, but this never crossed our minds, so we remained fully clad in our shorts. When the Italians became too rowdy, we settled in for our first of many naps. Having an interior windowless room has advantages and disadvantages. The pitch blackness surely makes naps worthwhile, but each morning we found that we'd be dressed for a summer day and it would be freezing cold with rain showers or we'd dress for a rainy day only to find ourselves under a tropical morning sun. It all worked out in the end. The copious amounts of quality naps were definitely worth it, when our only losses were the daily wardrobe miscalculations.

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