Potato Ride – Palma de Mallorca, Spain

We were supposed to be in Barcelona today for our first port but that didn`t happen. Apparently there is a port strike going on and there is barricade stopping us from entering. The fishing boats are on strike to protest the rising fuel costs which means that no one is getting in or out. So our ship diverted to Mallorca as we were supposed to go there on Thursday anyway. They just swapped the ports although this did mess things up for people who had things planned.

After a quick breakfast on the lido deck, we made our way off the boat into the island sun. Instead of taking the 4E shuttle bus, we walked to the nearby mall then jumped on a local bus for 1.10E. After arriving the the center, I rushed around getting myself prepared for the weekly conference call I had to dial in for. I was on a crappy payphone and so I could hear them fine but they didn’t even know I was there. Talk about feeling invisible.

Finally at one point after much screaming on my end, someone said they thought they could hear me. Unfortunately they all came to the consensus that I was in some remote local and the connection was terrible. I raced off to another phone and finally got a clear connection. I gave my report and then spent the next few hours in the internet café working. I was really glad to get some stuff that was niggling out of the way but knew that I would have to do a lot more when we got to the next port.

I tried to get ahold of my friends on such short notice and at least Xisco was able to come for a short visit. He picked me up and we zoomed around the island stopping in a very quaint little touristy town (Xisco will email me the name of it because I forgot). We meandered along the steep cobblestone walkways glancing into the colorful shops. They were selling soft knitted scarves and sweaters and hats along with delicate fabrics in every weight. Typical toys and many intricate crafts beautified their tables and shelves inviting you in for just a look. We passed by cafes and bakeries stopping to taste a typical delight which was a bun made out of potato sprinkled with icing sugar.

“It’s just a sweet bun. With some sugar on top,” I exclaimed to Xisco after taking the first bite.

“No it’s not!” He rolled his eyes in exasperation. “How often do you get to have a bun made out of POTATO?”

I kept quiet not telling him that my mom cooked a lot of things with potato flour as we were growing up. I shrugged and devoured the yumminess deciding this was like a healthier kind of donut.

We walked to the beautiful vistas and shared some more thoughts on life continuing where we left off a few weeks ago. I noticed the adorable flowerpots hanging along the sides of the stonewalled houses. Apparently, Chopin had lived here so music is a strong theme ribboned through this charming area. I played with about 30 little music boxes trying to find the tune of my little owl that my grandfather gave me as a child. I knew it was a long shot so I wasn’t surprised not to find it. I will never stop looking for it though. It’s amazing how a sound or a smell can invoke such powerful memories.

After watching the sea for a while my friend walked me back to my ship and we said goodbye. I bounded back onto the boat set on going to the gym for my daily sweat. I found a note in the room indicating that Sus had already gone to the treadmill farm. I laced up and joined her.

I was especially excited when I found out it was crab night and ordered two. I picked away happily and our server Martina was delighted that someone appreciated it so much. The servers had to do a little dance and we got up and joined them for the end part of it. We skipped the show and ended up going to sleep early. Though we are prolly some of the youngest people on the boat, we sometimes act like the oldest.

Today I am grateful for permanent marks.

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