Sunday, June 22, 2014

Eurocruise, Our fellow travellers

Our fellow passengers were mostly comfortably off people from sixty years up. There were a couple of exceptions, but think white, comfortable and conservative.

One woman was on a walking frame and on her own. She mixed in well, but of course she spent a lot of time on the boat while all were off doing walking tours.

There was a woman, not so old, in a wheelchair because of what looked like an extreme arthritic disease. I can only assume the bloke with her was her husband and not her brother. They participated in most walking tours, with him pushing her in the chair. Everyone was really good about helping them, but without forcing themselves on them or being cloying. I recall a couple of nights she stayed in their cabin and let him hang loose with the crowd and have a drink or five.

There was a New South Wales controller of weeds who was nice and he and his wife were not so old and we got on well with them. She could talk the leg off an iron pot and was great fun and not at all averse to the company of gay men.

There was an Asian couple, who live not far from our travelling companions. See you in South Caulfield Woolworths, the departing greeting went.

There was a couple from New Zealand and a couple from Malta who live in Australia.

There was a stuffy and boring couple from the UK, home counties of course, and he was an ex army colonel, or something like that.

There was a dyke couple, who were just friends. Did we click with them because they and we are minorities? No, although one them became over the top friendly towards the end of the cruise.

Then out of 150 plus people, there was us, R and myself being a gay couple and our travelling companions, a person over 70 with his quite black mid 40s partner. Did we four stand out? Oh yes. Early in the trip BR, that is black R was all ready to call the racist and homophobic card. Settle down BR. No one is being overly friendly to us either. Once people discovered BR spoke Australian, they were quite friendly towards him, in fact at times targeting him for conversation. Hey, doesn't the white middle class like to brag how they made a black friend?

And then there was H, a Jewish Australian man and everyone quite got to know him. Back home he has a gay brother and his wife was a dark haired and exotic but quite Australian too. H talked to everyone, including staff. He was told off by the captain at one point and another time had a blazing row with the captain, yet he went back for more and became friends with the captain. He was a font of information, constantly telling us stuff about what was happening on the boat that we may or may not wanted to know. H celebrated his birthday during the cruise.


19 comments:

  1. sounds like a lot of fun. never been tempted into a cruise because of that captive audience thing LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IWBY, yes, you are captive, but because we were four, we weren't forced to mix. That may or may not have been a good thing.

      Delete
  2. I am a confirmed people watcher. I don't always (or even often) like what I see, but watch (and listen) I do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We both EC. I recall as a kid hearing adults say, look out, big ears (me) is listening.

      Delete
  3. Sounds like a typical bunch of retiree travellers. Some are fun , some are bores and some are a pain in the neck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, personally people were pretty nice outwardly. We didn't get to know anyone well enough pick up what their characters were. Well maybe one or two. The bloke in the photo on the far right was truly scary.

      Delete
  4. Hello Andrew:

    In a relatively confined space, and for an extended period of time, one will, inevitably, go beyond the sometimes superficial, outward appearance of others to discover the real individual. This, from all that you say here, you did to a greater or lesser extent.

    The Danube river cruises do, as we may have said, appeal to us greatly but our principal reservation remains spending so much time with people not of our choice and who may prove to be those with whom we have very little in common.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well JayLa, mostly to a lesser extent about discovering individuals and their lives. I know I am the problem in some ways.

      I think your reservations are well founded. A river cruise on a similar organised tour would not be to your taste. Mind, had you have been on our boat, what a time we would have had.

      Delete
  5. Sounds like a nice friendly bunch, I'm glad you all mostly got along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A bit weird at times River, but yes, we all go along.

      Delete
  6. Andrew, your company was strange and funny in some ways. I don't understand why people are so intolerant. It's your life and your choice. My cousin is a gay and for me is no problem the most important is a person and his character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosia, the people on the boat probably had not met many gay men. It was new to them and they knew that society expects them to be nice and tolerant, and they were really.

      Thin of some people in country Poland and how they might cope with gay men.

      Delete
    2. Andrew, I believe that the reaction of many people would be the same. At school most teenagers are so intolerant so Many times I have explained them it is unfair.

      Delete
  7. Sounds like there was a good mix on board. Perhaps one advantage is that this was a sightseeing cruise rather than a cruise that promised to entertain you 24/7

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FC, an entertainment cruise? What a nightmare of a thought.

      Delete
  8. We met a gay couple on the departure night from Budapest and extraordinarily one half of the couple was a teacher who knew teachers that my teacher travelling companion knew and even more extraordinarily the other partner was formerly the boss of a volunteer friend at the hospital where I volunteer.

    We had a group of 12 New Zealanders on our cruise who kept to themselves a lot including corralling themselves into the same dining booths for all onboard meals where they tended to be a very noisy section of the dining room. It was only towards the end of the cruise that they opened up to the other mostly Australian passengers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victor, we had a coralled group of Adeladians and Perthites.

      So the people you mention were on the cruise? Lucky you.

      Delete
  9. BR hehe! Love it :) you certainly had an eclectic mix there Andrew.. I think if we went on a cruise we'd have a faaaaabulous time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Worth considering Grace! To pre-empt a final post, it was money well spent.

      Delete