Holiday Planning

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Holiday planning.

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.

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24 Responses to “Holiday Planning”

  1. Patti Kuche Says:

    Gerard, I rushed through your post if only to urge you and the delightful Helvi to book a ticket for . .. . New York!!!! But on a flight and if you really want to cruise, you can do a Circle Line Cruise around the island of Manhattan. Loos? No probs! There are hotel lounges for relaxation everywhere. And no camellias!

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      That sounds tempting. Your photos have inspired us to do just that. We are always so surprised how delightful NY beckons. Our dear daughter Susanna urged us on as well, saying ” It’s totally different from the rest of the world”.
      I also notice N Yorkers love relaxing as well.

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      • Patti Kuche Says:

        Gerard, you have to know – I am the laziest person everyone I know knows! Relaxing in New York? Yes yes yes! Your dear daughter Susanna? She said it best. Anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to ask!

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We are working hard on getting away, especially after next Saturday when we fear the voting outcome and might get a change of government. Still, life will go on. I wonder if renting an apartment in New York for a few weeks would be the way to go?

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      • Patti Kuche Says:

        Gerard, friends recently stayed in NYC using https://www.airbnb.com/s/New-York–NY and I know others who have used http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/new-york/new-york-city and all have been happy with their choices so far.

        It is a very easy city to get around in, laundrettes are everywhere if the apartment building doesn’t have laundry facilities, grocery stores etc are not hard to find and Metro Cards are great for getting you around on subways and buses. And if you do come, you must come and have supper with us!

        The one thing I would stress to anyone coming to NYC is – you are under no obligation at all to see and do everything in the space of a few short weeks. Doing nothing, as in pleasing yourself, here is doing something!

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, getting all excited. A converted warehouse in Prospect Park for $92- seems the very ticket. Where is Prospect Park? There are lots of arty studios as well. Thanks for the link and invite. Put the soup on.😉

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      What about this one between 15sept and 15Oct for $ Aus4876 .
      https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/300162

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  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Hilarious as usual. Never once did I think anyone could make writing about toilets funny. But this is cute and funny. The key to not need the toliet is: don’t eat or drink- anything.🙂 Of course then you’d be sick as a junk yard dog and totally dehydrated. But it is a thought. Or if you get sick on a cruise maybe you’d spend time in the ship’s hospital. That too is an evil thought. So however you and Mrs. O decide to go I only hope that you’ll pack your own toilet paper. You can save yourself lots of grief by having it at hand.🙂 And just to be on the safe side- never shake hands with a stranger. Pretend that you have arthritis of your hands and avoid the questionable dirty hand. 🙂

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Ha, ha. You got the gist of the article. We loved your last post with the butterfly photos. What art to be so involved with nature. Those weeds attract them. I am not surprised and would love to be reincarnated as a butterfly and land in your garden’s weeds.

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      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        Yes sir. Those Frostweeds and Mexican Butterfly Weeds are powerful attracters especially in the Fall when the Frostweed blooms. I’m so glad that you like the butterfly post.

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  3. auntyuta Says:

    Excellent exchange between you and Helvi. Sounds to me like you’re never going to be bored with each other. Keep us posted about your travel plans. I love reading your blogs. There are always some very amusing, funny parts in it. Hilarious!🙂

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Uta,
      We have been mulling over having a holiday for some time. We like our life here as well and often feel we are on a holiday anyway. But…even so, will have to go and stir ourselves into a trip. Any suggestions? An apartment in New York is tempting, or Paris…so many places to visit and experience.

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      • auntyuta Says:

        Yes, Gerard, so many places to visit and experience. I like a place with a proper shower recess. A hand held shower within the bath-tub is really not so much my cup of tea at my age. And for longer trips I do like to have the use of a washing machine!
        New York I would like if I had a bit more money. We found Berlin was still more affordable as compared to other major city centers like London, Paris or New York.
        But then I think for a relaxing holiday, which as you say we seem to have most of the time here in Australia, it’s best to go to a quiet country place or to a seaside resort.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, a proper shower and a washing machine for longer stays would be essential. We used to just take off and never planned hotels in the hope it would all work out. It always did but now we would be more careful and would hate to arrive not knowing where our beds would be for the first few nights.

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      • auntyuta Says:

        Too right, Gerard, at an advanced age we have to be a bit more careful. Still, it’s good to know that it is possible to plan for a few more stimulating and relaxing holidays!🙂

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  4. Lottie Nevin Says:

    To cruise or not to cruise, that is the question. People seem to fall into two camps when it comes to the question of cruising. I’m not sure it is for me, but then again I can see that for writing material, it would make the most marvellous fodder. Just think of all of those characters? The Captain’s table, the casino, the dancing, the goings-on below decks, the wealth of characters that you would meet, not least the odd mishap or misadventure.

    It’s a story in the making and I can see it now, gracing the shelves of every bookshop in the land. Your wonderful, side-splitting,achingly funny account of life on the high seas with Helvi. I’m afraid that I shan’t rest until you tell us that you’ve booked the tickets…….

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that’s right. I have done many trips by boat between Australia-Europe and back. It used to be fabulous and was the cheaper way to travel as airfares were way too expensive.
      Now flying is miles cheaper but less adventurous. We will just see.

      I remember one man drinking himself sick each day, a hopeless boozer. As he was leaning over the railing about a day out from Aden – Sydney (Aus) , he was un-happily retching away but in the process lost his dentures. He looked pretty gummy all the way to Sydney. I never saw him again.

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  5. Andrew Says:

    “Woody Allan, Kant and Chomsky” – all sound like Chelsea players to me. Am I right.

    I am not convinced by this cruise idea. Would there be seabirds to photograph? Do you get a tot of naval rum each morning? I once watched Carry On Cruising. Quite put me off the idea but it did have one nice exchange:

    “Doctor: Ole, senor!
    Marjoribanks: Oh, hello Binn.
    Doctor: No, senor. I am the famous Torero from Madrid.
    Marjoribanks: You look exactly like our medical officer, Dr Binn.
    Doctor: No, Senor. This afternoon I fight 15 bulls.
    Marjoribanks: That’s an awful lot of bull.
    Doctor: Well, my father he breeds the famous fighting bulls, you know. Every year, 50,000 bulls he sends off by ship to South America.
    Marjoribanks: 50,000 bulls?
    Doctor: Si, si. Also every year, 20,000 more he ships off to France.
    Marjoribanks: That’s 70,000 bulls.
    Doctor: Si, si. One of the biggest bullshippers in the business.”

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  6. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    As always, a delight to read. I think with Woody Allan, Kant and Chomsky you wouldn’t get to open your mouth at all – I doubt that would suit you.

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  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you Hillary;
    Yes, they are all great talkers. I would just try be a silent listener, lying low.

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