Lately we have got an urge to visit foreign shores again. It has been years since we last packed our bags, checked the passport and counted the travel cheques. Things have changed though. We have had more birthdays and things aren’t the same as they used to. For a start, I have reached the age where I need to be geographically acquainted to the nearest available toilet at all times. Is there a mobile App for that and does it work in Turkey?
I still remember that they have some strange public facilities/toilets elsewhere and even though the saying urges tourists; “do in Rome like the Romans,” I still have trepidations of unknown public bowel& bladder facilities and habits in foreign places. I believe there are places in some tropical paradises where one is advised to avoid the right hand of strangers. Perhaps it was the left hand? I have forgotten! I remember squatting really low down in gay Paris, keen as mustard for paper, any paper, and in howling desperation used unsigned travel cheques.
There is something very reassuring to the idea of combining both, to visit foreign shores and to always be within a couple of meters or shouting distance of a toilet. The answer, ‘the world cruise’. Can you just imagine the joy of peering over the QE 2 railing watching the African coast glide by, dream of Dr David Livingstone and at the first intestinal rumble be seated on gleaming lavender scented porcelain within seconds? Can you imagine?
Helvi is more circumspect about world cruising and even though she danced with the ship’s captain on a previous trip from Italy to Australia in 1966, ( our honeymoon) she suggested that one could be locked into spending weeks sailing around the world with some dreadfully boring people. Food for thought, she added. Can you imagine sitting around some couple at the dining table who keep going on talking about their superannuation or Camellias? 😉
People might think the same of us, I suggested. Speak for yourself was her quick and needle sharp retort. Have I been boring you, I asked her with my guilt on post-war automatic? Well, sometimes you can be, (never to let an opportunity like that one to get past), she answers with brutish honesty, but with a smile I know so well and love. Anyway, most of those cruises are by old fogeys and probably have intestinal problems like yours, she added.
What makes you think you are the sole owner of QE2 toilets? There is most likely a flurry of elderly people toing and froing to the toilets 24 hours each day and night, probably even queues, she added.
Remember that cruise boat laying idle mid-ocean a few weeks ago? All the generators had died, no power to flush the toilets with passengers laid out on the decks in heat of 40C with nappies and all sorts of other medical emergencies. After a few days they were towed into a harbour and met by ambulances. A nightmare.
Yes, but of the hundreds of thousands on cruises, that was just an exception. Come darling, let me decide on this holiday. There are gyms, libraries, swimming pools and lots of shops on board. We will probably meet new friends, like-minded and fascinating people who like Woody Allan, Kant and Chomsky. We could escape next winter, visit Finland and Venice, Dubrovnik and Messina, New York. That sound nice Gerard, why don’t you get some brochures?
Oh, I have downloaded them already darling. Here are just some.