Aruba beckons.. Caribbean cruise continues (part four)
A perfect day.. hot and sunny, this Caribbean cruising is not too shabby. Ninety dollars (American) bought us a snorkeling tour in Aruba. Included in the tour was an open bar and lunch on the beach, well worth the money if you have a secret drinker sharing your room.
My girlfriend never drinks unless she is alone or with some-one (ok .. so a stale joke my dad used to tell all the time). Truth is we are both cheap drunks, two drinks and we find everything hilariously funny .. or we need to find our way back to our room for a nap.
The snorkeling turns out to be iffy in rough seas and just so-so. Cuba which is all I have to compare it to, was 10 times better, actually there was no comparison (don’t waste your money on this one). The beach was on an island with a water-park, my girlfriend refused go down the slide so I could capture a Kodak moment (she didn’t have any alcohol in her yet, lol)
I think she wants to kill me, she is not a happy camper sharing a room this time. Picking up a cold and coughing all night long I said I wanted to shoot myself this morning, and she offered to buy the gun! Turns out this was an allergic reaction to a med I was taking, who knew?
Aruba has a population of 100,000 souls. They lost production of their oil when a big company shut down, and now rely solely on tourism. They use steam to generate power and reuse the water generated from the steam (genius). Our guide informs us the water is super safe to drink “this is not Mexico'” he jokes.
All these islands are ruled by the Netherlands. English and Dutch are taught in grade one, German in grade five and in grade six they start polish and Spanish. These kids learn five and six language’s, hell I had a hard time learning a smattering of French in high school, which I promptly forgot.
This is not the end of their education, they are then shipped over to the Netherlands on a scholarship to further their learning journey, wow! Our guide explained they need all of these languages because of the tourism industry which is kind of frightening don’t you think? What would happen if there was no tourists?
The Dutch traded New Amsterdam for these string of islands. I want to know why we can’t trade in Quebec for one of these little paradise spots? (ok don’t send me hate mail I am just kidding) By the way, they renamed that little deal after the mastermind behind it, his name was York and yes they renamed place was New York. I really don’t get it but then geography is beyond my grasp, history is not far behind, and I am directionally challenged as well.
So I googled it and a colony of the New Netherlands was established by the Dutch West India company in 1624 and grew to encompass all of New York City and parts of Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. A successful Dutch settlement in the colony grew up on the southern tip of Manhattan Island and was christened New Amsterdam. So there you have it, for all my American friends, a lot of you are descendants of Dutch immigrants. We all learned some history today.
We like Aruba, what is not to like? No language barrier, beautiful weather AND you can drink the water! There is also that song we can now relate too “Aruba, Jamaica.. hey I wanna take ya” you know the one. We head back to the cruise ship and then up to Dazzies disco later on, for a drink.
My drink of choice is Grey Goose, peach schnapps and cranberry juice, girlfriend orders a Corona. Drinks come and I add a dollar tip on my sea pass card. No money changes hands here, it is all on a plastic card the ship issues to you on boarding (with your credit card as collateral).
The sea pass card makes it easier to buy things and spend your money. The problem comes at the end of the cruise when you get your itemized bill, you then realize you may be an alcoholic after all.
I change the tip to two dollars, my drink is really potent, and we wander out onto the dance floor to make some smooth moves to “Play That Funky Muuuusic Allll Niiiiiight …” bahahaha, God we are good…