Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Donde esta el bano?

OR Norcross Vacation 2012– Part 1

A note about the title. I was trying to think of how to say “Where are you from?” but my college German overrode my high school Spanish. And while I tried several times to transport my brain to Mr. Volzer’s (Aye Carramba!) first period classroom, I did not attempt to Google it.
All I could come up with was “Donde esta el bano?” which I learned from watching 80’s sitcoms.

Specifically, an episode of Who’s the Boss? where Tony is trying to teach the family useful phrases en route to some resort in Mexico. Obviously, Angela scoffs at this. She is a high-powered female business executive with no need for conversational Spanish. Until you see their airport taxi pulling into the resort and Angela jumping from the car and running to the first person she sees.


“EL BANO, Angela, EL BANO!” Tony is just so damn helpful.

In related news, thanks to Dora, my kids said “Gracias” to the café worker in Mexico. See, Dad, television is NOT why the Japanese are ahead of us.

I have a point.

It’s not about Spanish.

Several times on the cruise we were asked where we were from. Of these times, at least 50% of the questions come from people who were obviously not from the US. (Including the cutest older Australian couple, who loved our kids.)

However, my standard, non-thinking response was always “Ohio”. This makes me cringe and the reasons are twofold.

First off, ever notice in TV shows when the main characters run into out-of-towners that seem just a little off – maybe they are stuck in the 80s, or maybe they are naïve, or maybe they lack basic vocabulary skills – they always end up saying they are from Ohio. Why all the hate for Ohio? What about Idaho? Or Iowa? What about KANSAS!? I know there are some hick people out there.

More importantly, perhaps, why should I expect someone from a different country to know Ohio? I don’t even know all the provinces in CANADA for god’s sake, and there’s not that many of them.

Don’t ask me to tell you what all the countries in Eastern Europe and Africa are. I could probably guess the majority of South America. Brazil’s the big one, right? (Hmmm, maybe television IS the reason the Japanese are ahead of us.)

The point being, after I say it, I feel like a complete douche bag Ugly American. What do mean you don’t know where Ohio is? Don’t you watch Glee or reruns of The Drew Carey Show?

Not that any of them admitted to not knowing where Ohio was, by the way. I should probably give them credit for having moderately superior geography skills than me. I mean, they are the ones speaking two languages without relying on Who’s the Boss? trivia.

Speaking of being lost…did I mention we lost our kids on the cruise? I guess if you are going to give your kids a practical survival scenario for getting lost, a cruise ship is the place to do it.  They can’t get far, kidnapping is out of the question, and the clientele that can afford the cruise are less likely to be homicidal maniacs (or maybe more likely, not sure).

Anyway…we were up on Deck 16. Nana and Papa had already headed back to the room and everyone else was gathering their things. Morgan told us she had to go down to 15 for her flip flops.

I keep gathering our things and look up to notice Zoe is no longer standing next to us. I look down and see Morgan picking up her flip flops, but no Zoe. Okay…walk quickly towards the doors that lead to the elevator lobby and reach them just as she pops back out.

Fortunately, Uncle J had come out of the restroom right as she was walking by and asked her where she was going. She informed him that she was following Morgan, but he didn’t see Morgan anywhere, so brought Zoe back with him. Phew.

Look back over the edge again. No Morgan. Jesus Christ!

Honestly, my first thought was that she went back to the room. From Day 1, they had figured out what floor our room was on, which door it was, and how to use their Sea Pass to get in. Unfortunately, her Sea Pass was still in my beach bag, so I wasn’t sure what she would do once she got there and no one let her in.

Scott headed back to the room, while the rest of us did random sweeps around the two decks. What felt like an hour later, Scott shows back up with Morgan in tow. She had gone to the room and was working her way back down the hall when he found her.

Yeah, new rule. Sea Pass on, unless you are IN the pool.

And speaking of worst case scenario…a man missing his leg goes by while we are lounging one morning.

Zoe: Why is his leg missing?
Nana: Maybe he had an accident or was sick.
Zoe: No, I think he was in a shark tank and it got bit off.

To be continued….