Saturday 23 April 2016 – Aruba

Happy St George’s Day. And Shakespeare’s birthday and deathday (allegedly).

And welcome to Aruba. Or, as my phone has just told me, welcome to Jamaica… ?! Erm…

I have had three text messages today so far. One from one of my credit cards, saying my credit limit has been increased. The next saying, oops, no it hasn’t, sorry. And then one from my other credit card saying your statement is available for account ending ****. That’s not my card number. What’s going on?! Has the entire UK credit card system gone haywire? If so, quick, buy stuff now, they’ll never know.

Hot, sticky, sunny, stupid weather. 30 in the shade and air so moist you can almost drink it. Draining people like leeches. Apparently, so many people collapsed due to dehydration in the Canal that the Medical Centre could not cope.

We pootled along the front, with mum in her Luggie and us trying to find dipped kerbs for her to use – rather few and far between, thanks very much, Oranjestad – via the new purpose-built terminal, that sadly has replaced the lovely stalls we went past last time. We stopped for a drink in The Paddock, the bar that Mac and I drank in last time we were here – it still has a cow and a tyrannosaurus rex on the roof, and a lovely view of the marina. But now the music is so loud the waiting staff cannot hear you, even when you ask them to turn the music down, which caused much amusement all round. “Please could you turn the music down”. “Sorry?” “EXACTLY. Please could you turn the music down!”. They didn’t, so we left. Shame, because if they had, we might have stayed longer, spent more money and we even dallied with the concept of eating there. Well, it’s their own stupid fault.

We asked the World’s Most Unhelpful Person In A Tourist Information Booth (and believe me there is competition for this award) where the nearest hotels were. He (eventually) said fifteen minutes away in a taxi. Then we asked if the building opposite his booth was the Renaissance Hotel. Yes. WTF?! I know you are very put out at being interrupted in the middle of a text message, but really, is that your best attempt at doing your job?!

In fact, we all noticed that people here are not very welcoming and not very helpful, and they are all uniformly OBSESSED with their phones. You have to beg them to look up long enough to take your money. It’s bizarre. I think they have become so blasé at the amount of money they take very time a ship comes in  – probably several a day at high season – that it’s just routine to them now. They really, truly don’t even bother to look up any more. Very sad. I hope the Americans are more forgiving than we are, because we were very put out. If I want to be ignored, I don’t need to travel halfway around the world for that – I can get it much nearer home for much less expenditure, thank you very much. Don’t think we’ll bother coming to Aruba any more. Mind you, if you’re a massage therapist or a chiropractor, looking to branch out, I recommend moving here. Because their necks are going to really start to hurt soon, and their posture is going to go to pieces. Mucho dinero in someone’s future, methinks.

We went into the Renaissance Hotel for lunch, in their excellent buffet, in their blessedly enthusiastic air conditioning. Our matzahs had survived the journey relatively unscathed, so mum had cheese sandwiches. I had a salad. Dad just had a drink. There was something on offer called tempura sushi. It looks, essentially, like they made perfectly good sushi, dipped it in batter and fried it. It looks horrible. I cannot vouch for the taste, obviously, but it doesn’t sound good either, does it? The ordinary sushi looked good, but no rice for me this week. *sigh*

Then we used the fairly good hotel signal to Skype home.

Back on board by 3pm. We all needed a rest. The humidity is very hard to deal with, if you’re not used to it.

Wore the new white top, that I bought in Korea, to dinner, and promptly splashed brown salad dressing on it. Marvellous. Then helped Dad fill in the World Cruise Event survey. Then washed the white top. Then an early night.

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