As the ship starts to rattle and shake I’m aware that we are docking in another port of call. I open the curtains to darkness and a foggy view of Nassau, Bahamas on the horizon. The Atlantis hotel stands in the distance like a mirage behind the rising sun. I arrived in the U.S. four days ago and have already enjoyed the breath of fresh air and energy that vibrates through the people here.
The collective friendliness overwhelms me after so many months in Italy. I used to think it was a language barrier, and in part it truly is, but there’s something more. I am more relaxed and possibly more approachable too because conversation will come naturally to me here whereas in Italy I struggle to find the right words without offending someone. By the time I blurt out a garbled response in Italian the moment has passed and the magic is lost.
I’m sailing on board a cruise ship with my husband for a month and I am reminded of the book Eat, Pray, Love which if I didn’t know better was written by yours truly. My life has been a rollercoaster of changes and now I am happy to say that I have also moved on to Gilbert’s follow-up book “Commited” (which is also a great read). Not only have I read the book, I’ve also lived it…is this woman channeling me or am I channeling her? Isn’t one of us supposed to be dead in order for that to happen? The movie with Julia Roberts is now out and I’ve already had a good chuckle over the trailers being shown on TV. I wonder if I will be able to squeeze in a matinée showing before I head back to Italy?
Usually when I sail with my husband the title of this post says it all. I eat my way through two breakfasts then find myself bellied up to the buffet table in the Captain’s dining room by 11:30. Afterwards my husband and I take a two-hour snooze and then while he goes back to work I wander outside to the sunny decks and read a book by the pool. Tough life I know, but it makes a lazy person like me even lazier.
Most people use the turn of a new year to re-focus their life’s goals, but I’ve committed this month to getting back on track with my studies. There is a learning centre on the ship and I am also armed with the English/Italian Driver’s Education books in order to tackle my next big bureaucratic leap and get an Italian driver’s permit.
I know what you’re thinking. Is there ever going to be an end to the documents to be sought after in this country? Certainly makes you think twice before moving countries doesn’t it? I now have a new appreciation for those who have moved to Canada not knowing a word of English and trying to sift through all the legal hoops in English and French! I’m pretty sure that if you snuck a Spanish word in between an Italian word I probably would be cursing under my breath wondering why I can’t find the damn word in my giant dictionary.
So, instead of Eat, Sleep, Swim…I will endeavor to Study, Shop and Skip : ) What do you think? I like the way that rolls off the tongue, don’t you?