My Week 217: Things You Learn While Travelling

I just got back from spending a week on a cruise ship sailing around the Caribbean. It was great fun but I definitely learned some things about myself among other things, as one does when one is on a boat.

1) I’m not good at packing. I mean, I can PACK just fine—I’m a f*cking amazing packer. I roll everything into tight little sausages which makes them more compact AND unwrinkled. I can fit so much stuff into a small suitcase, you wouldn’t believe it. Also, I never pack until the night before, but I spend a lot of time thinking about the process and what exactly I will need. My parents actually PRACTICE packing to make sure everything will fit. They practiced on the Tuesday before we left and did such a great job that they just kept everything in the suitcase until Friday and I was like “My god, when was the last time you brushed your teeth?!” Me, I have no problem waiting until the last minute because I might end up needing something important, like what if Benedict Cumberbatch invited me to an impromptu pool/cocktail party and all my sh*t was locked inside a suitcase? So it’s not the packing itself that I struggle with—it’s WHAT I pack that’s the problem. The last time that Ken and I went away, I didn’t pack enough ‘daywear’ and had to buy a couple of souvenir T-shirts and now I will never forget where the halibut fishing capital of the world is (apparently it’s Homer, Alaska). So this time, I overcompensated but when I repacked my suitcase to come home, I realized that I hadn’t worn even half the sh*t I brought. Also, I packed twelve pairs of shoes. I was only away for 7 days.

2) Canada is a lot smaller than you think. You know how people assume that all Canadians know each other, like how people joke “Oh, you’re from Canada? Do you know Bob?” Well, it’s true. We were on a bus tour and people started saying where they were from:

Woman 1: Oh we’re from Kitchener.
My parents: So are we!
Woman 1: What part?
Parents: At the lofts at Benton!
Woman: Oh, do you know John Smith?
Parents: Yes!
Me: I’m not from Kitchener; I live in Drumbo.
Man 1: My brother’s from Drumbo—do you know Frank Jones?
Me: Yes!
Woman 2: We’re from Edmonton.
Me: Oh, we were there last summer. We stayed at the Chateau Louis.
Woman 2: Did you hear the piano player in the lounge?
Me: Yes, we did!
Woman 2: That’s Jeff—he’s my husband’s best friend! They host Blues Fest at the Chateau Louis every year and he always plays for that too!
Man 2: Oh, I think I saw him when we went there from Newfoundland last year! He was really good. We bought him a drink.
Woman 2: Wait—are you Bob?!

That’s Canadians for you—6 degrees Celsius of separation.

3) I don’t actually like monkeys. That might not seem like a big deal, but don’t forget that I have often waxed poetic about the joys of having a monkey butler. His name would be Ralph Van Wooster, obviously, and he would wear a little tuxedo with a hole cut out of the bottom for his tail. But in reality, I don’t think I like monkeys very much if my reaction to hearing that there were wild monkeys out and about on one of the islands we visited is any indication. Our tour bus driver was telling us about how people used to smuggle monkeys onto the island but then when they got older and more aggressive, they would release them into the wild, and now there were non-butler-type monkeys roaming the island and hanging around on the rooftops. And all I could think of was how terrifying it would be to wander around the botanical gardens and come face to face with a simian who was super pissed off at being tossed out onto the street and probably didn’t know how to make a dirty martini. Our tour guide also told us that people on the island ATE monkeys, and then he said, “I’ve never eaten monkey myself. I mean, I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat monkey, but if someone had some cooked monkey and it was right there, I would probably eat it” and I was like “How did it come to this, Ralph Van Wooster?”

4) Sea turtles have attitude. I got to go snorkeling with sea turtles, which was pretty awesome. The guide on that tour told us not to touch the turtles but he didn’t say anything about the turtles not touching us, and one of them slapped my dad which was a real dick move because my dad is Scottish and feisty as f*ck even in his eighties but he couldn’t fight back because he had to use two hands to hang on to his little floaty. So I also learned that sea turtles can be assholes but I guess when you’re “endangered” you get to do what you want.

Anyway, it was a great trip. We did tours of the islands, learned about spices, waded in waterfall pools, sat on beautiful beaches, and made good use of the “premium beverage package”.

Today is my birthday, but it will be a quiet one since I just got back late last night. My parents DID get me a cake on Friday night at one of the restaurants on the ship. When it came out, I started laughing hysterically. The maître d’ looked at me in confusion and said, “Isn’t your name spelled correctly?” and I said, “Not even a little bit.”

“I’m so sorry,” he said, “the pastry chef is from Thailand” and that was even more random, and made me laugh even harder. Good times, good times.

83 thoughts on “My Week 217: Things You Learn While Travelling

  1. You will now and forever be Suzune to me!!!! Happy Birthday you Funny, Beautiful, Fabulous Lady!!!! If I see Bob, I will make sure to say hello, and if I ever run into that sea turtle, I will give him a good slap….. Thank you, as ever, for bringing laughter into my Sunday!!!!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. The Caribbean, how cool is that.
    Btw, your way of packing reminds me of my sister’s. I get depressed when I need to do it. I suck, and lose patience way too quickly. Oh well….At least I’ve got fun on my vacations. That counts too, doesn’t it?

    Funny what you said about people thinking all Canadians know each other. But, since you mentioned Kitchener, do you happen to know….. (I knew quite a few people from there, sooooo, you never really know, do you?) It’s a small world, I mean country.

    Noooooow, Suzanne (I’m sorry….Suzune. ROFL!!!)

    Knock yourself out!!!

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Happy birthday, Suzune!! Cheers to an adventure of a year to come! For what it’s worth, I could argue and WIN a battle in court that your shoe:activity ratio was a perfect match. Birds of a feather, friend. Your sea turtle commentary slayed me. Never before, in all of history or zoology, have they been called out on their dick moves. Nice work!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Suzune! AMAZING! Ha! I am an over packer, and I annoy the shit out of myself because I never learn and just keep doing it. Oh well, better than having to purchase a shirt with a shrine of teacups or some shit like that on it, I guess. Happy birthday, you hilarious woman! Hope you had a lovely relaxing day! Thanks for the laughs, as usual!​

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Happy Birthday, Sister! Don’t call me late for yesterday, call me early for 2019. 😁

    I have never swam with turtles (I don’t swim), been on a cruise ship, traveled to Canada or Alaska, or even met Bob. But I DO roll up all my clothes before packing, starting about a year and half ago before my week-long marriage renewal thingee in Vegas. It’s amazing how simple and powerful that is. I now roll all my clothes before putting them into my dresser because it gives me more room there, too!

    And if I’m going somewhere for one night I pack 4 sets of clothes, including shoes. One never knows which ensemble one will go with each morning. And since I end up only wearing what I had on, on the way, the entire time – including flip flops – everything goes neatly back into the closet and drawers when I return. No launder needed.

    So easy a wild monkey could do it.

    Hope your day was dreamy and that Ken and Benedict got you everything you wanted. Excelsior!

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I will certainly remember next year that you already got the jump on it! I love that you pack like me–better safe than sorry, right? I have been watching Youtube videos this morning about how to pack suitcases–the one guy was like, “You can travel for months with just one carry-on, but you’re limited to two pairs of shoes” and I was like, “Hard pass–I’m taking the full size luggage”. Here’s a quick clip though to confirm we’re doing it right:

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe I should take some lessons in packing from you, although I tend to pack very light, which is a nice way of saying I always forget something. As long as I have a book and something to write on I assume everything else will take care of itself, and it often does. Hotels have spoiled me with free toothbrushes, shampoo, soap–once I even almost left with a nice new bathrobe, but I didn’t like the monogram.
    Anyway happy belated birthday and congratulations on a creative new spelling of your name. I will never listen to Leonard Cohen’s “Suzune” quite the same way again.
    Hey, Leonard Cohen was Canadian so you must have known him, right?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I actually borrowed a bathrobe from the Queen Mary because I was in disbelief at how much my spa treatment ended up costing–it has a very nice monogram and I smile every time I remember how I smuggled it out under my clothes:-) Now, I never actually MET Leonard Cohen, but my friend Karen did–she said he was lovely, so I guess I know him vicariously!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Since Texas is as big or bigger than many countries, we don’t think we know everyone here — we’re just all friendly cuz we’re The Friendly State! And if we don’t like you, we just shoot at your ass to try and move you out of our state! Naw, just joshing — not all of us own guns here; however, every Texan knows at least one person who does. There’s really no degrees of separation! On that note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TRAINWINE! Your adventures to the Caribbean sound like so much fun! Turtles and monkeys and misspelled cakes, oh my! Have an awesome year to come! BTW, I loved your Brotherly Love story and it has haunted my thoughts in a good way since I read it! So when are you coming out with a book, again? Mona aka Epithet 😎🦋🐢🐒

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Mona! So happy you liked it! My new novel will be out in the fall 2019, and my first novel came out in fall 2017, but they’re both YA fiction. My new project is more of an adult novel (I hate saying “adult” because I worry that people will think I mean porn, but I don’t know how to differentiate otherwise!)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So funny! I think we might have run into Bob in Vancouver 🙂 It’s funny how people think you might know everyone from your state or region. When we went to England several years ago, everyone asked where we were from and at the time, we were from Ohio. We had no idea that Cleveland had made international news overnight when we landed in London. Some women, who had spent several years locked up in a house in the Cleveland area, were finally freed when a neighbor heard their cries for help. So, everyone at our hotel kept asking us if we knew them and how they were doing–and if we could give them any more news about them. When we told them we really didn’t know, they looked dumbfounded.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Firstly, Happy Birthday. Nextly, this was an especially, exceptionally precious and joyous read. So many favourite lines that I’d be basically writing your whole post again here if I quoted them. Laughed so hard. And Bojana’s video??? What the hell did I just watch??? Utterly brilliant and possibly not deserved 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy belated birthday. I’m now very suspicious of your dislike of monkeys and think it’s more likely to be because you were a banana in a former life. As for that turtle… has it never heard of haggis?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Please accept my belated but sincere wishes for a Happy Birthday, Suzune!

    “Six Degrees Celsius of Separation” should be the name of its own book! Brilliant! I could read that kind of dialogue all day — it’s like a Monty Python sketch!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. If you go on another cruise, a must have to pack is antidiarreha or tummy meds…just in case. Unfortunately I am not kidding. When we went on our honeymoon I had to spend some time in the bathroom, my husband went to the gift shop to get some for me. They dont sell them. You have to go the the infirmary. When you go to the infirmary, the pull your ‘card” and cancel any activities you may have. You are also not allowed to leave the ship because they have to report all of this to the country you are entering…. I swear I am not kidding 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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