Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cruising Report - Part 1

I've returned from my cruising adventure with Iva Mae - pictured here in downtown Ensendada. It was great to have some quality time with Mom and experience new things together. I've got a boat-load (ha!) of photos but here's a quick report.

We met a lot of nice folks and many regular "cruisers" addicted to this mode of travel. I'm 99.9% certain that this is not going to be me. I loved being on the ocean and going to a different country without getting on a plane but there was something about it that felt forcibly planned. I'm not one for big group travel so this was a first for me; overall, I prefer to get dirty when I am on vacation.

The food was great though it often felt like the day's activities were centered around eating. Which brings me to an observation that Mom and I both picked up. There are A LOT of fat people who go on cruises. I don't mean chubby, I mean obese. For some reason, the great majority of them were women and it made me both sad and irritated. I'm not exactly svelte but I try not to take up more than my share of airspace.

One day, we met two very nice ladies who could barely fit in their chairs at lunch. We listened to them complain about how little room they had in their shared stateroom, their bathroom and especially the shower and we could only nod in polite agreement, our eyes wide, just trying to imagine it. When we back to our room, we measured the space, as if we were their size, and tried to maneuver with very uncomfortable results.

Question: How does a person not notice that they are 300+ pounds and then complain that the world is too damn small? I don't get it. Time and again, I watched these people go back to the buffet for more. It was an ugly situation - like a page from Animal Farm.

Ironically, most people get off cruises and feel fat and overstuffed. While Mom and I definitely ate more than usual, we got off that ship feeling pretty damn skinny.


Fang Bastardson said...

I've learned in the last week that unhealthful levels of stress are a good way to lose weight. Maybe what we need is more piracy on the high seas. Or at least the threat of same...

Hey, my word verification gibberish is "ours LB" - pretty neat, huh?

ClizBiz said...

"More piracy!" - I love your slogan. And yes, LB will always be "ours."

hotdrwife said...

You know, if I send my husband over to this link, he's gonna blow up (no pun intended) your comments about obesity in America. I think I'll just send it right before Friday and let him blow up the evenings conversation with it instead.


ClizBiz said...

That's fine with me. I actually toned this post down quite a bit to make it ..er, palatable. It's a serious fucking problem and eventually, it will bring us down.

HDH said...

Obesity is a huge epidemic in this country. Multiple factors play in to it in my opinion. I could go on and on but 1) I have to go operate and 2) I will just ruin the pre-concert time on Friday with the gory details. However, I would offer one thing to consider - lets say you are a women in Africa watching her third child starve to death. You somehow (because you have no link to CNN in your refugee camp) find out that one of the most common and growing operations (and booming business) in the great United States of America is to reroute your GI tract so you do not eat yourself to death. Then we wonder why the world hates the United States. It turns out much of modern medicine is to keep consumers of major industries going to comsume more product and keep the profits coming. Joint replacement and gastric bypass for the food addicts and the fast food industry, cardiac and peripheral vascular work for the tobacco addicts and the tobacco industry, trauma care for the alcohol, firearm, and cell phone industry etc.

ClizBiz said...

Man, you are preaching to the choir, HDH. The obesity epidemic is one of my favorite rants. I remember reading somewhere that in the final days of the Romans, much of the population was overweight. I thought to myself, "Well, here we go!"

Safe to say, we'll discuss this more on Friday. Yay!

Mrs.X said...

I am so not surprised that you had this experience. The level of self-denial that some people have is truly breathtaking. Will those ladies ever connect the dots between their size and the size of the bathroom?

Case in point: the man and I were at dinner last night at a wonderful neighborhood pizza joint. We were sitting outside since there weren't a lot of tables inside. At some point, weizened old man comes out and lights up. I don't think much of it until he goes back inside and sits next to his wife who is ON AN OXYGEN TANK. Sweet Jesus - all I could think was that the woman probably had emphysema from all of the second hand smoke from him, or maybe was a smoker herself. But this guy was still smoking! I would not be the least bit surprised if I read in the paper that their house burnt down because he was smoking near her oxygen tank.


Glad you had a nice time on the cruise, otherwise. We did a Cunard cruise last year on the Queen Mary II. It was fab-u-lous as the boat was just as much of a spectacle as our ports of call.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think those women had no idea about their size?

Don't you think it may be humiliating to have to apologize and explain to everyone they meet --- oh yes, the room feels small to us, because we are so fat. Even having to joke about it wears down one's self-esteem over time.

Low self-esteem + depression = hmmm, the need to self-medicate? While you choose your lifestyle and booze or whatever your vice may be, some people turn to food. For some, they feel it's their only option. Then they get to be analyzed and made fun of by 'skinny beautiful people' like you.

Sorry to be harsh -- but why do fat people have to be so criticized in such an ugly way?

ClizBiz said...

Mrs. X: Okay, Wow. That couple is a walking fire hazard, just waiting to explode. I might have to convince Mom to take that QM II - especially since the original Queen Mary is parked in her town.

Anon: You have to understand - these women were NOT joking. They were complaining.

At some point every person needs to take some responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that ensue.

I am amused by your 'skinny beautiful people' comment. Um, have we met? I have a giant scar running down the side of my face and I'm at least 30 pounds overweight.

Being obese is a very slow suicide and it makes the rest of us uncomfortable when we are forced to watch it unfold before a buffet. It is even more uncomfortable when this same suicide is spilling over into your seat on an airplane.

If something is wrong with your life, it's your job to try and fix it - be it drugs, alcohol, food, sex or whatever you're gorging on.

I stand by every word in my post.

HDH said...

Ultimately it is a biology and public health issue. One of the reasons I went into medicine was the bottom line nature of it all. It is not about popularity or oratory skill etc. No court of appeals overturns the fact that you are dying of cancer. Cancer does not care whether you are a CEO or a janitor - despite all the money wealthy people spend at places like MD Anderson. As such I look at things in a relatively black and white manner. So, if you are going to be overweight - you are not going to live as long. You will cost more to take care of while you are alive. You will cost more to transport - some of that cost coming at the expense of your hips and knees. That is the data. If that hurts people's feelings - too bad. Biology does not care. I am sure it hurt Darrell Strawberry and Robert Downey's feelings when they threw them in rehab over and over again. Certain behaviors and genetic makeup combinations are beneficial - others are not - to survive requires effort. Most addictions require enabling at some level. Our society does way too much of that. I think it is time to own things. It is one thing to die younger than necessary and miserable - but knowing that an entire fast food industry is making a mint off of it - well that would really piss me off if I was obese. If my sister came to me and said I need some help - I would do anything necessary.

Mrs.X said...

It's funny you mention the Queen Mary - the man and I spent one night during our honeymoon on it (I have to admit, it was a little creepy, but cool, too) and he told me that they were building the QM 2. Being the demanding wife that I am, I made him promise that he would take me on it. And he did!

ClizBiz said...

HDH: I couldn't agree more. It's like that sign that advised hikers in Rocky Mountain National Park: "THE MOUNTAINS DON'T CARE." Putting extra weight on top of knees that were not designed to hold that much is just bad engineering.

Mrs. X: I am growing more and more fond of Mr. X. (In that platonic I-love-that-he-takes-care-of-his-wife
kinda way.)