Monday, December 14, 2009

Ahoy Grand Turk!

by Pa Rock
Cruise Rat

Our ship, the Eurodam, is slowly making its way into port at Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I am not certain that I will be able to walk on dry land, having just gotten used to doing the shipboard stumble - but it will be nice to try. It looks like we should be tied up and ready to go ashore in an hour or so.

The sea has been very rough. I noticed last night at dinner that even the waiters were having an unusually hard time moving from table to table. The entire dining episode could have become fodder for a Marx Brothers movie, but the wait staff managed to stay on their feet and deliver the calories in an exemplary manner.

The highlight of yesterday afternoon was a panel discussion on International affairs. Speakers included Katrina Vanden Heuvel (the editor of The Nation), Robert Sheer (liberal curmudgeon and noted writer formerly of the Los Angeles Times and now associated with the Internet site, Truthdig), Steve Cohen (a professor at Princeton and New York University with expertise in Russia - and Katrina's husband), William Greider (former international affairs writer for Rolling Stone, and Howard Dean.

Barack Obama, who was not on the panel, seemed to be the focus of everyone energies. Scheer ravaged the President for not living up to his liberal potential and immediately changing the world, while Dean was the counter-weight who argued that the President is effecting change and that the federal government is a mighty beast to tame.

I had a chance to visit with Howard Dean at The Nation's reception last night, quite a feat because the little old ladies were fawning over him like so many blood-starved mosquitoes. When one finally stopped for a breath, I stepped in close and told him that I had a serious health care question. He smiled, and left the others to their argument over international matters. My question for the remarkably skinny and youthful looking Dr. Dean: "Are we going to be seeing you in a Jenny Craig commercial?" His response, "Lord, I hope not!" I then commented on all the weight that he has lost and asked how he did it. He replied, "Biking. Exercise and diet." Excellent advice - and remember, this guy is a physician and he knows that of which he speaks.

Our ship has docked and I am headed to shore!

More later...

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