My Christmas Eve (Well, December 24th, at any rate)

We spent the day in Cozumel, Mexico. It’s lovely. This particular day started with Megan, Ashley and I doing a little exploring, while the other boys of the cast went directly to the beach/bar.

We ventured slightly off the beaten track, the highlight of which was a walk through the local cemetery. I was a little hesitant (respect, not fear), but it’s fascinating to see how different cultures treat their dead, and given our itinerary, it was nice to see something not designed for tourists. I don’t know if this is true of all Mexican cemeteries, but it was amazingly vibrant, lots of mausoleums in bright pastels. Of course, there were also a fair number of handmade crosses written on with marker. Not to be morose or maudlin, hopefully to be slightly poetical, there was something kind of comforting about the mausoleums and the idea that the families were together. Not that I particularly believe in an afterlife, but hey, it’s the holidays.

Moving from the sacred to the profane, towards the end of our walk, we stumbled upon a girl who looked to be about five discovering self-gratification on the sidewalk. Normally, the kind of bizarre moment I wouldn’t choose to share, but the funniness of Ashley and I trying to continue our conversation after that makes it a memory worth preserving. As we pressed on, Ashley would look back every thirty seconds or so (I, out of a combination of propriety and decency, did not), I would ask “Still going?”, she’d say “Yep,” and we’d pick up where we left off. For the record, she was still discovering when we got out of eyeshot.

Then we were at the No Name Bar, which is a bar/beach that is a popular hangout for crews from all the ships in port (it also has the wireless, which I didn’t use, but that’s a big draw.) Alan, one of our JARs (i.e. dancers), came over and said I was stealing his look by wearing a bandana, I countered that I was at the bar first and had also been wearing bandanas for years, and we quickly through down in an impromptu Bandana-Off, which is basically an in-your-face dance contest. It was interrupted by a waitress coming to take our orders, so it never properly got resolved, but I’m fairly certain I was winning. At any rate, we both kept our bandanas on, and all was well.

I took advantage of the beach time to polish off the last few pages of Please Kill Me. As predicted, somewhat of a deterioration into a series of one drug death after another, and it would have helped to have known more of the players going in, but still, an interesting read. Up next, going classic with The Great Gatsby!

Besides that, there was some more great snorkeling. There’s some sort of wreck sunk right off their pier, and there were all kinds of great big fish swimming in and out of it. Nature!

And though I don’t have them yet, Joe (the ship’s comic) and Luke (one of our techs) were shutterbugging like no one’s business, so hopefully, I will be able to track down some fun pictures of our fun day at the beach. (There were of course other incidents worth telling, but I’ll wait for the pictures to tell those stories.) Of course, this not being the real world, most won’t be posted online, but with my datakey, I should be able to store the best of them, and then someday, COLLAGE! Well, probably not, but still, I’ll have them.

Christmas Eve proper was spent with the cast at Le Bistro, the onboard French restaurant. The food was good (mussels and scallops and escargot to open, duck for the main course, and crepes suzette for desert), as was the company, though we were all clearly worn out from the day. Then we all made the briefest of cameos at the White Party (it’s a party where everyone wears white, get it?), and retired.

And that was my bizarre Christmas Eve. We’ve got improv shows scheduled for tonight (no Sandy Koufaxes here!), and then Boxing Day mayhem in Miami.

God bless us, everyone.

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