Friday, September 12, 2008

My first cruise experience!

We (my boyfriend, E and I) had just 7 days in our hands! And a million things we wanted to do!! Visit the local museum, shop in the ever increasing number of malls, take a romantic stroll down the beach or a park, dine out in a luxurious restaurant, go on a thrilling desert safari, etc., etc. The list basically didn’t have an end at all!

Anyway we attacked one item on the list at a time. First thing, we booked a table in this “luxury” cruise boat through a travel agent who said that the next day evening, a car would pick us up, drive us to our boarding point and drop us back home after the dinner. By this time, I was so delighted with her courteousness (little did I know then that the package covered the drive too) that I started to book a desert safari trip too through her. But unfortunately for us, it was the holy month of Ramadan… during which the much awaited part of the desert safari (read belly dance) was not allowed. So we decided it was a waste of time and proceeded to the next items on our list. ;)

We went to all the shopping malls that we could humanely go to in the 5 days! We spent half a day at the dubai museum, which was the only slightly boring part of the whole 7-day plan! :P Coming back, finally, the day for our romantic “luxury” dinner date arrived! And as the dinner was only in the evening, we went shopping in the afternoon with my friend, Y. Before evening all three of us were tired, sleepy and most of all, hungry as hell, not only because we wandered like crazy dogs, but also mainly because of the Ramadan factor!

The Ramadan factor is this state of mind when you’re extremely hungry, thirsty, sleepy and tired, but you cannot drink a drop of water or have a tiny bite of anything ONLY because it is the wrong time of the year to have these basic desires! In the month of Ramadan, regardless of one’s nationality, religion or sex, one is not supposed to eat or drink in public. It is against the law!! :O

Now, I’m not getting religious or anything. But coming from a country where we celebrate Eid, Christmas or Diwali all the same, this was quite a shock to me. I mean... I was NEVER asked by any of my muslim friends Not to eat or drink in front of them just because they were fasting! It is one thing that out of basic courtesy and good manners, many of us try not to eat or drink anything in front of our muslim friends. But it is a totally different issue that we were being forced to fast with our beloved Middle Eastern muslim friends here :-/

Anyway, coming back to my story, we were seriously hungry, but had no place to sit and eat. So we waited till it was time for them to break their fast and then rushed to the food court to take hold of as many sandwiches and fried chickens as possible!(no, they were not serving free food, its just that the food court gets crowded real fast during Ramadan!!) Then we rushed back home to finish our late lunch and get ready for our super special dinner date! :)

Sometime later, I got a call from that sweet spoken agent saying that the car will arrive outside my door by 7pm. So this left me with ample time to get ready, change clothes and make myself presentable! :) Suddenly E and I decided to take Y along too. So we booked dinner for three, got ready real slow (actually this part was totally by me!! :D) and still managed to be ready to leave by 7pm. Sadly, the car hadn’t arrived. We waited for a full fifteen minutes before I called them again. And then they said that the car was on its way and it should be outside my door any minute.

After waiting for a painful 30 odd minutes, the car arrived by 7.45pm. Needless to say, we were super late and after a thrilling ride for around 20 minutes, we reached the boarding point. By then the cruise boat had already left without us! :( Then the incharge of the boats got us into a speed boat and informed us that since the cruise boat had left just a few minutes ago, we could still board the boat somewhere midway. So with hope in or hearts and dreams in our eyes (or is it the other way around??) we jumped into the speed boat. :P

After a shaky and bumpy, almost-fast, i repeat, almost fast 5 minute ride on the speed boat, we spotted the cruise boat and the speed boat captain(??) stopped right next to the cruise boat so that we could board the latter (I’m tired of typing b-o-a-t).

Now, let me explain the dimensions involved here. The cruise boat was like some 5-6 meters high and the speed boat was just a little less than 1 meter tall. So the cruise captain dropped a wooden staircase for us to climb from the speed boat. This wooden staircase, strong as it was, landed with its first tread (step) exactly just above my nose!

How the hell am I supposed to climb on to the flight of stairs which starts almost nearly from my nose?? :((( Anyway, I didn’t have to worry about it much as E was the one who bravely climbed the stairs without falling or even flinching a bit for that matter! Hmmm… that’s something I hadn’t thought of until i typed it out here. ;) Then it was Y’s turn to climb and as she is just a little plump n chubbier than E, the speed boat captain and his helper had to struggle a little to lift her on to the stairs! :P

And they had succeeded too. Now, it was MY turn! :((( As I slowly staggered my way near the edge of the speed boat, it started oscillating!! Mummmmmmyyyyy!!! Trust me… I had never been that scared all my life!! For a minute there, I was so sure I was gonna die!! Either drowned or frightened to death! :(

The boat man told me it was because both of our weights were on one (the same) side of the boat, and he moved a little towards the center just to nullify my weight or whatever! I was way too scared to remember!! But then after a minute, it was E who lent me a hand from the stairs… this other helper guy thrust into E’s arms and thank God! That was when I snapped out of my momentary comatose!! PHEW!!! :)

And after all this adventure, we sat at our table just in time to savour all the “delicious” dishes served. Frankly, the food wasn’t that great. Or I was probably still not out of the panicky mood. Either way, after dinner, I felt a LOT better. We clicked away as many pictures as we could, some romantic ones to note (:P) And after it was all over, the driver came on time to drop us back home! :) Albeit the adventurous, shivery feeling, I had awesome fun that day!! Clearly the most memorable dinner ever!! :)))

1 comment:

jony said...

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