Luck was on marido’s side when we chose our wedding date, it’s just five days away from my birthday. I know that makes it fairly easy for him to get me ‘all in one’ gift, take one vacation, one weekend fine dine etc etc.. Ahh ahh, you think I’ll let him get away with that! Ha ha. Now, we celebrate the whole week instead of just two days 😉 Many months ago marido came up with a brilliant idea of cruising this year. We’ve never cruised before, so we stored this special experience for our first wedding anniversary cum my birthday. I’m convinced even before I start, that, my write-up wouldn’t really justify our experience, but, let me give it a try.
It’s time to sing my cruise song, our journey to the Fjords of Norway.
You think first timers ain’t judgemental. It’s true that we don’t have a prior experience reference to compare with, however, we keep a score of ‘loved it’ and ‘hated it’ by comparing them with similar and sometimes even vaguely similar situations. For example, sitting in airport lounges waiting for the flight to board you is as painful as sitting in the airplane for hours taking you across countries. On the contrary, we went to the port 3 hours before sailing and it took a minute to give away our luggage, 15 minutes to process our documents and get our cruise cards, 5 minutes in security and in a blink we were on board. We reached our cabin in another 5 minutes that includes a walk on the gangway, a cheek to cheek smiling welcome photograph and taking the lift to seventh floor. We weren’t even thinking of our suitcases and guess what, they were already standing outside our cabin, you know, like those statues to welcome you. Food!, our stomachs grumbled. We went straight up-to the restaurant. The captain’d said, there is one man on this ship who gets maximum applauds in the beginning, but, by the end of cruise everyone hates him for giving them those extra waistlines, he’s ‘the chef’. How true! We ate such delicious meal all along.
In a few hours we settled in comfortably. The ship became our beloved home. This home held around 2000 passengers and 900 crew. Probably we were among the younger travellers of this cruise by age. Energy of the much older crowd, if not as much as ours, was delightfully higher. Trust me!. They’d dress up for the bow tie nights, dance on the floors, gamble in casinos, join the tough walk tours, win bottles of wine in quiz, sing along with karaoke. It was an inspirational sight for us. It taught us an essential lesson. Life isn’t complete until you’ve walked all your miles. It isn’t finished until the flat line beeps on your monitor. So, till then, kick in your suitcases and kick out any apprehensions. Explore and Experience.
Art and Entertainment. In the last few years, I’ve made conscious efforts in attending events and trying art. Marido has happily joined along, okay I admit, forcefully for a few. Anyway, together we’ve attended musical shows, watched painting in the galleries and museums, laughed until our stomach hurt in stand-up comedies. What happened in the ship was, a pamphlet which would have a list of events that’d run the following day, would be dropped in our cabin every evening. We’d eagerly wait for it and plan our shows. We watched two stand up comedies, two dance drama and a piano concert during the cruise. A dance drama that portrayed the musical band ‘Queen’ remained our favourite. We had to walk past an art gallery when we went to watch these shows. The artists had coloured their canvas with the modern day randomness. We liked a few. The eyes were so well defined in the hairy highland cows painting. Busy day rush, modern politics and war were simply put in the hundreds of images created in the form of stencil men – it was a very interesting piece of art. The double deck red bus on a well lit street just after a rain was reflecting stories of a common man.
I can keep singing this cruise song in loop, writing its lyrics and humming its tunes. Let me grab a coffee for now.