Sunday, May 23, 2010


I travel all over the world and the one thing I’ve learned for sure is that it really doesn’t matter how fat one is. What matters is how long one can go without peeing.
Nothing is worse in Europe than the excruciating pain of an overfull bladder and no toilet in sight. Even if you stumble on a toilet, if you don’t have a coin…you are screwed. The way it works is that you are supposed to find a coffee shop and buy a coffee as payment to use the facilities. This makes no sense as the coffee goes directly to one’s bladder and the cycle simply repeats itself.
On my trip to Europe this past April, I was searching frantically for a toilet on the streets of Barcelona and was unable to find one. Desperate, I ran into a museum that was twenty minutes from closing and threw 6 Euro at the ticket taker just so I could use the toilet. I bought a 6 Euro cup of coffee so I could pee in Santorini, Greece and a 6 Euro glass of bad wine to pee in Dubrovnik, Croatia in a camping potty behind a curtain on the edge of a cliff. Each time, it was money well-spent.
Some days I’d travel to some far off destination on a fancy motor coach with a toilet on board, BUT, the toilets are always locked, mocking you as you curse that one teeny sip of coffee that mostly you only smelled but didn’t drink for breakfast. I guess if management unlocked the toilet and let the passengers actually use them, then they would have to clean them which would increase their overhead! On a train ride to Rome, I needed to pee so desperately that I used the toilet at the end of the car. Unfortunately, the toilet locks itself at the train station when it is standing still and unlocks itself as it is hurling 80 kilometers an hour down the track. No wonder the walls and floors are sticky!!!
When I was lucky enough to find a toilet on my travels, the line reached to Jamaica! But only if you are a woman. The men never waited, something to do with the ease of not undoing a belt and the freedom of peeing standing up at a urinal. My husband was in and out in a flash and I spent most of my vacation in a cue at the “ladies room.” So ladies, this is the new rule. UNDO ALL YOUR CLOTHING FASTENINGS WHILE YOU ARE STANDING IN LINE. GO INSIDE THE STALL AND PEE. IMMEDIATELY EXIT THE STALL AND DEAL WITH YOU FASTENINGS OUTSIDE THE STALL. I’ve done the math. The fastenings add two minutes to each person in line.
And remember, really smart people make it a policy to never drink any liquids when traveling, no exceptions.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I have been back from my last cruise for eleven days Рthat means I have gone eleven days without ice cream, pastries, Cr̬me Brule, Apple pie or sugar of any kind. Of course, my husband does a light dusting of sugar on the cappuccinos he fixes for me every morning and I do have a small piece of dark chocolate everyday (it is a medicine, like CO10 or Vit. C РWithout it I would grow anemic and die).
It is true that I am a “cruise addict” largely because of the magic of the most wonderful food appearing in front of me whenever I want. It is also true that it has taking me about 20 cruises to learn to not overeat as a way of shipboard life. The food was so good on this last cruise across the ocean and around the Mediterrean that I went for quality rather than quantity. Every morning, I started the day with homemade muesli with a side bowl of fresh mixed berries. If my throat was sore, I’d request a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice that someone would fetch from the top floor and bring down to me at my table in the second floor dining room. Get the picture?
If it was a port day and I was going to walk miles, I’d add an egg cooked to perfection with half and English muffin, very lightly buttered. Of course, occasionally, I’d eat a small cinnamon roll that was baked while I was sleeping. I am only human.
Did I mention that there was flowers on the table and a polite man from Bali would snatch a linen napkin off the table and lay it on my lap? Did I mention that someone else washed my dirty dishes?
I would write more, but I can’t go on. I am hungry, I need lunch and I must prepare it myself. Reality calls.

Monday, May 10, 2010


This year Mother’s day was wonderful and continues to be my favorite day of the year. My son who lives in Alaska chatted with me on the phone for an hour and informed me that he and his girlfriend bought a microwave oven on Craig’s list in order to make homemade soy candles as a Mother’s Day gift.
My 29 year old daughter spent the day with me and during the morning we were out and about and ran into many people I know. The reoccurring comment was “Your daughter looks just like you.” I don’t really know how I feel when I hear that comment. I remember when Suzanna was ten years old hiking up the hill to catch the bus to school. My neighbor who watched her said, “Your young daughter looks just like you, in fact, she even walks like you!” At the time, I remember thinking, “Poor Suzanna.” In my heart, I was hoping for more for her.
Yesterday, I phoned my mother who lives in a nursing home in New Mexico. When my daughter talked with her, I overheard the following – “Mom and I went to the nursery this morning and looked at plants and it was so much fun. When I was a little girl, my Mom made me help her in the garden and I hated it. Now, I love gardening, it is so meditative!”
Unlike the comment that we look alike, which is the luck of genetic draw, I knew exactly how I felt about her turning out just like me in the gardening area. I was very pleased. I had exposed her to the beauty of digging in the earth and it had imprinted on her. In this regard, my daughter is just like me and it is all I hoped for.