High Seas

by Jinryu

It is surprisingly difficult to get internet access while on a cruise ship. I’m doing so right now actually– I’m tying this while on the Carnival ship, Glory, in an on-ship internet cafe that charges 0.75$ per minute. Yes, that’s bloody expesive– I’m sure they make a pretty penny in profit off of this rate, even if satelite internet connectivity isn’t all that great. I’m being clever though– by pre-writing my message in a Feedback form (which, because it’s on their company’s website, can be accessed for free) I’m not using any online time to use this message.

I have mixed reactions about this cruise. I don’t think I’ve previously mentioned much about it, but it’s a 7 day affair that started on Sunday and will skip across various destinations on the southeast side of the US border. We started off in Miami, went to St-Thomas, and today we’re in San Juan. Somewhere along the line we’ll be hitting Grand Turk and a few other islands.

It is very nice to get away from the half-assed weather of Montreal, and get weather which is dicididly hot, in a no nonsense kind of way. The scenery is quite nice and the food is pretty excellent to be honest!

Not to be ungrateful, but it would be much better if [CM] was here, or, in general, if I was just doing this kind of thing with her rather than with family.

Evey now and then my family decides that we want to act like one of those typical Americal families that you see in the movies– that is to say, going on family vacations, visiting foreign countries, doing thigns together and all that… but frankly, that’s not us. Going on vacations together is a strenous affair.

Before the vacation even started, it was an incredible amount of stress to even book things. We are 12 family members of vacation together– my house, [Vittek]’s house, and two my my aunts (from my dad’s side). It would all be fine and well if we were the sorts of people who could just be left to our own devices– cruise ships do have quite a bit of thigns to do, not to mention the islands that we land on– but the people who are ‘in charge,’ that is to say, my mom and the aunts… well, they don’t look at travelling the same way as I do, I guess we could say.

My mom and I keep getting into these occasional fights, because she’s always in this mad dash to push the group to rushing around from place to place instead of enjoying things. One day, she woke me up in my cabin insisting that I get out of bed– I complained that I was still exhausted and that it was my vacation, I should be allowed to sleep. An argument ensued.

The irony is that while she thought it was 9am and that we’d been asleep for 9 hours already, it was actually 3AM– dad and her were reading the analog watch upside down in the dark (the cabins have no outside view).

I think I’m actually a pretty easy person to travel with– my requirements aren’t all that high. But I’m not the kind of person who wants to bounce from one tourist shop to the next, looking at t-shirts and bottled boat-models made in China.

San Juan is a perfect example– the streets are beautiful. Cobblestone roads, and buildings coloured in ways you’d never see back home in Montreal. I don’t even like coffee– but it would be nice to sit down and just sip some in a cafe, watch native life do it’s thing. I don’t want to be treated to all the special treatment of a tourist, and i don’t want to buy tourist shit– I just want to live a normal life in this new place.

But that’s not what vacations are for when it comes to my folks, so… what can I say. If you asked why I do it, well, I guess it just comes down to it being a question of … why not. I can complain as much as I want about family, but, where would I stand if I didnt’ make the effort to spend time with them, quality or otherwise, to just… be there?

We aren’t a family from the movies, but, I think that at least we try, and we have our moments. And moments are what life is all about.

Regardless… as I watch the water in my cup swishing from side to side (it looks like there’s a storm out, and we’re at sea right now) I just… miss CM. Talking to her and seeing her, even if only on a video feed, has always been an almost daily event– and I find myself just feeling the symptoms of withdrawal.

I lay down in bed at night and imagine her next to me, trying to act out things that she might tell me about her day. Sometimes if I’m lucky I have a dream that feels pretty real.

I guess I shouldn’t complain– she’s going to be picking me up at the airport when I get to Sydney in a little less than a month. I think we’ll have to relearn a lot of the things about being in a relationship, because it’s been so long that we’ve been doing this long distance thing. It’s been really hard, to be honest– but she’s stuck by me, and I’m really looking forward to having the chance to repaying her for all her patience.

I find that as the time comes closer for me to move to Australia… I don’t feel any dread at leaving Montreal. Surprisingly very little. That isn’t because I’m having a lukewarm experience with family right now, might I add; it’s simply that I know that going to Sydney is just the right thing for me. My heart is set on it, and I’m ready to go towards my future.

No, it’s not dread of leaving that bothers me– it’s impatience. I miss her so much sometimes, and it gets a bit worse with every passing day.