Stuff Before I Go Ashore

Dearest Rachel –

I was told by friends and family at home that, well the port of Curaçao itself was literally nothing much to write home about, the homes and businesses we would pass on the way in might very well be. However, considering how close Aruba and Curaçao are, even with an 11 o’clock departure time from the former, we would be arriving at the latter fairly early. Would the view be worth getting up early for? I asked a crew member and his response was something of a shrug. he claimed some of the homes were in fact quite nice, but it was hardly worth losing sleep over.

And, as it turns out, now that we are becalmed at a little after seven in the morning, I am not seeing anything on my side of the ship. Again, since I am on starboard side, this is to be expected (they call the other side ‘port’ for a reason, don’t they?)

It shouldn’t come as any surprise, I suppose, but it’s interesting to see a fellow cruise ship with an escort.

Anyway, sure enough, the harbor is on the other side of the ship, so whatever we might have passed on the way, I would have missed it, regardless, if I weren’t on one of the upper decks looking out in both directions. So I decide to make my way topside for breakfast.

And it’s true that, from where we’re docked, the view isn’t particularly impressive, save for the fact that it is from fourteen stories up. Still, one can find a certain poetic beauty in it; the refinery towers arranged in a line behind the church in the middle of this picture conjure up images in my mind of a row of minarets offering praise to some deity of commerce. I’m sure the workers at the refineries don’t look at it that way, however.

Interestingly enough, there is no piped-in music at this hour, as I head to the elevators. Not that I object to this fact, but it seems surprising Dash the people out in the halls are already awake, whereas those of us in our rooms can’t hear anything outside anyway.

The music, while faintly present throughout the pool deck, only really makes itself heard once one is in the Windjammer. It probably stands to reason; the more people there are in a place, and the more chatter, the louder the background music can be without being too obtrusive to those trying to converse.

Breakfast is a little more nutritious than usual this morning: even the corned beef hash (which is the only corned beef I expect to be eating this Saint Patrick’s Day) has vegetables in it). Not sure what to make of the Aloo paratha (pictured at the top of the place); its spiciness kind of sneaks up on you a few seconds after taking a bite.

It’s just occurred to me that I never bothered to take St. Patrick’s Day in the account; that is to say, I never packed anything green to wear. However, I do have one orange shirt with me, which makes more sense, since I’m a filthy Protestant. I don’t remember if it was you or our brother-in-law Bill but first informed me of that aspect of the tradition; since I knew you listen to the Irish Rovers even in college (including that one song about the orange and the green), I’m going to give you credit for that information.

Meanwhile, I’m still a long way from figuring out how to take a decent selfie. Not being particularly photogenic doesn’t help matters, I’m sure. Anyway, I know it’s the wrong island, but it’s not like I’ve been to Curaçao before.

I debate about how soon to disembark; my shore excursion isn’t until a quarter to one, though. If I got tired of Aruba after only two and a half hours, how much more so would I be about Curaçao after four?

Besides, for some strange reason, I seem to be dealing with a blister on my big toe. I know that sounds like a complaint – and I guess it is – but I’m more perplexed than anything. I’ve been putting in six miles of walking in good weather while wearing those running shoes, and never had an issue with them. I don’t know what’s different about being here. Is it the humidity, or that my feet are otherwise getting wet from time to time? Is it the fact that I’m swapping between those shoes and a pair of sandals and flip-flops? Those latter two are considerably more ill-fitting than the Sauconys.

As much as I wonder if the other shoes aren’t responsible for this little irritation, I also wonder whether I should bring them or not. Gym shoes and sweat socks are hardly appropriate gear for walking along a beach, but I can’t remember whether or not one is part of our shore excursion. It would stand to reason, even though I know one stop is actually a business – I simply can’t recall the other two.

I guess this is a job for that new bag I bought at CocoCay. If nothing else, it’ll hold any souvenirs I decide to buy on my way. That, and the sunscreen. Right – gotta douse myself with that, too, and let it dry before putting my shirt back on. That last time on CocoCay, it felt like it was stuck on with syrup. That may be fine if you’re Canadian, but I’d just as soon not.

Anyway, it seems I’ve managed to kill plenty of time, so I’m going to have to leave you now. I’ll try to take as many notes as I can while wandering about, and I’ll talk to you later.

Until then, honey, keep an eye out for me. Love you.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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