We are going to Rome via Prague because Czech airlines had the cheapest flight. I have my electric tooth brush and charger, but no water pic. The lady of the house, in my first conversation with a real Spaniard, asked me if I would like to take a shower. So I took a train to California for my job with Occidental Life Insurance. When we return with our luggage, a different attendant says our luggage will leave from this terminal and we will, after a short bus ride, leave from another. I am still bruised from my battle with the new phone company to retain our number. I have resolved to be forbearing with customer service people. The elderly Asian Stewardess neglects to take our order. As I walk down the aisle towards her, everyone is looking at me. We have no drinks.” She apologizes and serves us soon enough. I stayed overnight in Madrid with a Spanish family before departing for Malaga. Having woken up alive in San Juan, Ponce, and Mayaguez, I figured Los Angeles would be a piece of cake.Las Palmas, like Barcelona, Majorca, and Malaga has a prosperous look with a lot of new construction. They are not religious, unable to have faith in God. They retired and moved from Tennessee to 30 miles from the Canadian border. They burn wood to heat water for their heating system. One of their party is a young man who attends bridge class. They too like the health plan, but note that elective surgery often must wait. Relate the probable number of calls for a winner to the number of cards outstanding. A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, while attempting to save a twelve-year-old prostitute in the process.Were on our own for breakfast and lunch, but we have dinner every night at the same table with the same waiter. Now they live in Boston and he’s a real estate investor specializing in “fixer-uppers”. In response to my question, he says ships this size have to start slowing down 6 miles from port. She doesn’t know that I have silently contemplated this problem at length. It’s impressive enough from the outside: very high with realistic statues. In spite of explanatory pictures, we can’t open the door after two tries. He takes us to the Bellver (“lovely view” in ancient Catalan, like buena vista) castle, a round castle fortress built in the 14th century which was used as a prison. The guide sounds like he’s from the Chamber of Commerce. In her high school days she rejected a guy, Jerry, who she said had no future. Obama can’t make a decision and has done nothing but work for ACORN. Spain expelled the Arabs and the Jews, but they still have the Catalans (who look down on the rest of Spain) and the Basques (who seek to bomb their way to independence). He looks like he’s changing a tire or he has a blissful expression while dancing independently of the beat. I don’t get up to full speed walking unless I’m going to the bathroom. There are many venues for breakfast and lunch, but we can sit randomly in the dining room, which is what we mostly do because we like to be served and we like to meet new people. The cruise director, the only working American, praises them at the end and wonders why the politicians can’t get along similarly. I ask him about promotion tests like the New Haven fireman case. But actually firemen probably have to know as much about first aid as policemen need to know criminal law. I have imagined the Carnival Dream ramming the dock at Fort Lauderdale and coming to a stop in Naples. We’ll get a better deal on shore (wrong slightly) and there are plenty of money changers (right). The best response to an ill-considered (I edited out “stupid”) remark is an innocuous “Is that so? I don’t respond that way often enough to have a standard reply. Some of the 60,000 executed by Franco may have spent time here. Turns out he became an actor with a role in Law and Order and donated an auditorium to their high school. “He taught law at the University of Chicago”, I venture. They’re opposed to Health reform because they’ll be worse off. When you start to exclude people, when do you stop? We sail out of the Mediterranean and past the Rock of Gibraltar at about 10 pm. Our next port is Las Palmas, Canary Islands, which is part of Spain and in the Atlantic. I imagine that for some people, being cut-off from shopping and TV for 5 days would be quite onerous. I was recommended for Spanish only, not Latin, not French.
I did understand an essay excoriating government corruption. The USA is not as good as it was 35 years ago when they immigrated here. He says they saw five containers of food loaded onto the ship in Italy, no need to restock. Another day, we join a couple from Phoenix, ex-New Yorkers. Quite an expert, he says the sign showing 34 degrees Centigrade (93 Fahrenheit) at the Las Palmas beech was erroneous. They attribute the working presence of their ex-compatriots to the terrorist bombing at Bali (Ha’i, the music in South Pacific) in 2002 which killed the tourist industry. Each night in the theatre, before the show, they play electronic bingo. At our table is the couple who danced in the talent show. The story of Henry Hill and his life through the teen years into the years of mafia, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his Mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.Jerry works in his father-in-law's car dealership and has gotten himself in financial problems. Then in 11th grade in the hall corridor with Miss Davey hovering in the background, the guidance counselor, Miss Smith, suggested to me that I apply to the American Field Service. Back to our cruise- the Carnival Dream docked at 48th street after passing the Statue of Liberty at 3 am. As it passed 72nd street, I recalled stopping there in 1956 at the First National City Bank branch where my father worked. There was no German, but I still recall fragments of O Tannenbaum.