It’s been pouring rain since last evening with no end in sight – a very nice change – much cooler! I’ll take this opportunity to update you on a few things.
First, the stories of from Ujung Pandang continued this morning. Several folks who took the walking route we INTENDED to take but decided otherwise, were robbed. They lost jewelry, wallets, purses, & backpacks. We are frequently warned prior to arriving in some of these less privileged ports to remove all accessories. Some folks just don’t understand. We always remove our wedding rings & watches, locking them in our stateroom safe. I usually where a cheap $15 watch, just to be sure we don’t lose track of time. Had we been robbed yesterday, the most we would have lost is about $40, a couple cameras, sunscreen, and a bottle of water. The only items that would have been both a security concern and hassle to replace – driver’s licenses. Again, very fortunate we turned back when we did.
Second, we were to celebrate the second crossing of the Equator this morning at 10am with a large party on deck #8, complete with the comical ritual of the Captain sacrificing a few members of the ship’s staff to King Neptune in return for safe passage & smooth waters. We attended the event last year, took several photos (posted elsewhere) and generally had a good time. We intended to go this morning as well, and we secured a table around 8:30 right in the middle of the expected activities. Since it was pouring rain, the sliding roof opening to an observation walkway on deck #9 couldn’t be opened to handle overflow crowds, so everyone migrated to deck #8. You already know where I’m going with this. It didn’t matter if you had chairs, tables, or how long one had waited/guarded your viewing area, good manners, protocol, and general manners were thrown overboard by dozens of passengers. Tell me…just how polite is it to stand directly in front of people comfortably seated trying to enjoy a show? Apparently, to many rude, discourteous people, it’s perfectly acceptable. After 15 minutes, we gave up our ‘front row’ table – we couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, and at that point, couldn’t have cared less. We’re now in our stateroom – I at my laptop, Cheryl reading, with the rain downpour continuing. Lunch in 1 hour…after all, it’s been 3 hours since breakfast!
So before we go to lunch, I’ve not yet updated you on one of our days in Sydney, and would like to share it with you now. As you know from last year, Sydney captured our hearts – we will forever be fans of that magnificent city & its people. We spent an entire day touring the city…north, south, east, & west. Back at Circular Quay (pronounced key) we decided on the spur of the moment to check into a tour of the Opera House. Last year, we crawled all over the exterior but never set foot inside. It was 3:55 when we got to the ticket counter…last tour was to begin in just 5 minutes – talk about perfect timing – and they had two available spots remaining! We had an excellent, knowledgeable guide. All participants were given headphones, and the guide’s voice was the only thing we could hear as he spoke into his microphone – very nice. We toured all theaters in the Opera House to include the backstage areas and the main warehouse where all of the props are stored between shows. Neither of us have any interest in opera so we didn’t purchase a show package through the ship. Many people spent hundreds of dollars for opera tickets just so they could say they attended a show in the facility – made no sense to us. Why go if you don’t enjoy it? As we were leaving one particular theater, the guide was describing the current show that was playing, and it wasn’t an opera at all. Rather, it was a combination cabaret, new burlesque, circus, and vaudeville. It was called…La Soiree. The theater itself was a square facility with the stage in the middle of the floor and tiered seating on all sides – there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. As the guide was describing the show, we both looked at each other and knew immediately what the other was thinking – LET’S GET TICKETS! Back at the booth after the tour, they were only a few seats remaining for the performance that started at 7:00 that evening. It was 5:30 – we were both wearing shorts – we caught a shuttle bus back to ship, changed cloths (needed long pants) and raced back to the Opera House. It was 6:45 – we made it! We no sooner bought drinks than the theater doors opened and we were inside. Again – not a bad seat in the house – we were only a few feet from the stage. This was a young crowd, 30’s, & 40’s, with a few clearly in their 70’s, but they were the minority. We knew we were in for a fun evening, and the show didn’t disappoint! Trying to describe the various elements of the show would take several pages & too much of your time to read – but just try to picture the first two rows of the theater with guests covered in sheets of plastic so they wouldn’t get wet from the bizarre activity on stage - that’s what kind of evening it was – truly outrageous, astounding, & FUN!! The place was rocking with applause & laughter!
…then I think about those poor folks who had to dress in suits & tuxedos…pay an outrageous price…and listen to an opera in a language they didn’t even understand! Really???
On we go… J
CLICK HERE for most recent Captain's Log update. (Bali)