Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back story post 11

Breakfast was served in the ship’s cafeteria buffet style. It was casual and available from 7 to 10 AM. I went for coffee and some fruit. I found a chair near the window and sat down looking out across the vast Atlantic Ocean. There was no land to be seen. We were truly at sea. I thought about how tough it must have been to cross the Atlantic in a wooden ship without any of the convenience of modern life. I had a lovely cabin complete with a full bath and closet. We dined on the best of food and drank the best of wine. We were totally entertained and every detail was taken care of by the staff. There was a fitness center, a spa, a shop, a bar, a formal dining room and a beautiful pool top side. It would take us five days before we would see land. In the early settlers days it would take months under far less than comfortable conditions. For the next five days all we had to do was party and enjoy the luxury of the ship. The total passenger load was 600. This made it small but very private. It was easy to begin to recognize most all the passengers and after a few days everyone was very friendly. Being a single woman, I decided this was a great way to travel. Simply unpack and let the crew do all the work. You simply floated from port to port without a care in the world. I thought; I could get used to this.

As I was finishing my coffee I saw Frank approaching my table. He said good morning and asked if he could join me. He sat down and we began to chat. He told me he was on his way to visit his friend Nanos who lived just outside Athens. Because he was Greek he had already made friends with the captain and the crew who were all Greek. They had given him a private table for dinner and an invite to the Captain’s private party to be held that evening. He asked me if I would like to have dinner with him and then go to the party which would be in the captain’s quarters. I jumped at the chance. I would meet Frank in the dining room at 7PM.

Now dinner with frank was an event. As I approached the dining room the staff quickly escorted me to his table. It was a quiet table in the corner of the dining room set for only two. Frank looked so cute in his suit. He was sharp and witty. We looked over the menu and Frank made the wine selection. He turned to me and said that he would order for me. The staff loves to speak Greek. Frank explained there was an art to ordering Greek style. He explained that first you must ask about the salad. Was the lettuce fresh? Where did the tomatoes comes from? What about the cheese and the lamb? It was a lengthy debate back and forth. Both Frank and the waiter seemed to enjoy the exchange. Frank explained to me that it was the way Greeks interacted. They don’t just order. They discuss the meal.

For the rest of the trip I had dinner with Frank every night with the same debate and the same end result of getting our food specially prepared for us. Frank took great care of me. He ordered great wine and always knew from the waiter what was best to eat that night.

But there is more to this story….

Doctor Lynn


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