I think we’ve established, time and time again, that it takes ALL KINDS. Today, I met a few ‘kinds’, but 2 particularly stick out in my mind.
Her nickname is ‘Toots’...well, if it’s not her nickname, it should be. She definitely looks like someone who’d call them self Toots. And why do I think that? Well, she’s in her 80’s with a large curled perm all set up in a beehive. She’s driving a power cart and apparently is accustomed to being waited on hand and foot. It’s lunchtime in the buffet and I’m grabbing a taco to hold me over on our excursion. They’ve got all the fixin’s so you can have it anyway you like. Toots likes hers made by the hand of a young Phillipino crew member... we’ll just call him Phil. Toots doesn’t get off of her power cart. Phil seems to have drawn the short straw and has been assigned to follow Toots around the buffet line and address her every whim. She wants a taco...Phil has to make it to her liking...more cheese...some lettuce...some tomato. Poor Phil puts what she asks for on the plate and then shows her to see if it suits. She’s not shy to tell him when it doesn’t. Suddenly 3 officers are passing by. They’re the mucky mucks in the white shirts. Phil is a lowly blue shirted wait staff. Toots aspires to a greater level of importance. She yells to the officers “HEY!”. They stop and ask her what’s wrong. “Shouldn’t YOU be getting my food for me?”, she asks. They didn’t agree. And me...I just shake my head. Ya can’t make this stuff up, folks!!
Kier and I were off on a ship’s excursion to St John. We’ve done St Thomas before, so wanted to check out one of the other islands. It was a 45 minute ferry ride and one of the boat operator’s provided a running narrative. It was quite interesting on the way to, but on the way back I was seated next to Cathy. I’ve purposely shortened her name to Cathy, although her birth name had to have been “Chatty Cathy”. We’re seated at the back of the ferry on the lower level. The narrative has started. It’s a bit hard to hear over the noise of the engines. She asks “Can you hear anything?”, to which I reply “I’m trying to hear, but it’s hard. I’m only getting bits and pieces.”. I’m not sure how, but she obviously interpreted that to mean ‘It’s too hard to hear, so I’m not going to bother to listen’ because she started in. She talked almost non-stop for the entire 45 minute ride. I didn’t get to hear one bit of buddies narrative, but I did learn wayyyy to much about Cathy. Like I said...it takes all kinds!
The devastation of 2 back to back hurricanes (Irma and Maria) in September 2017 is still evident. Many hotels have yet to reopen. They islands rely largely on cruise ship passenges to help rejuvenate the economy as their regular tourist trade cannot come to the islands until the resorts start to reopen.
It was quite nice to have the tour operators thank us over and over again for coming to the islands on our cruise as that is what is providing a lifeline to many in the hospitality industry. Very sad.
Tomorrow we’ll be in St Marten, another island that suffered greatly from the storms.