Ah, the glories of travel. I love being in new places, I just hate getting there. Which makes one wonder why I yet again chose to go on a cruise. A cruise is like “all getting there and never being there.” You never stop moving, and there is a strange, new port every day. And for some inexplicable reason, I get seasick more easily than I used to. So the cruise is a little bit more of a challenge than I thought it would be.
Included in the downside of cruising is the general fear of the dreaded tummy flu. These viruses have, in the past, run rampant on a few cruises. But oddly enough, the fear of H1N1 may actually drive the chance of getting sick way down. For the first time, I’m seeing people actually take the “wash your hands” advice seriously. And by my estimation, at least 70 percent of the passengers are using the instant hand sanitizers that are all over the place. Hopefully they don’t think they work in place of hand washing. But people can be right stupid, so who knows.
I, of course, came prepared for my usual “room decontamination ritual.” I bring my own rubber gloves and a huge stash of Lysol wipes. And then I proceed to wipe down every single surface in the cabin that gets touched. All tables, the phone, all switches, the hair dryer, facets, door handles, drawers, all of it. I use up the whole canister, making sure that everything stays wet for the requisite ten minutes for decontamination. Yes, those are my hands cleaning my stateroom phone in the picture there.
I also keep a canister of more skin-friendly handi-wipes by the door, and wipe my hands on the way in or out. I wash my hands all the time, which is nothing new so that’s easy. And I keep a stash of handi-wipes on me to use before and after eating, to clean off any surfaces I put my computer on, etc. I do not touch elevator buttons – I have a spouse for that.
And that’s where I have to cut myself off. Once I’ve performed these rituals and allowed myself some concessions, then no more worrying, (if possible, heh). I know that unless I draw a line, I’d be looking for a million different ways to ensure my illness-free state, which we all know is impossible. And since I don’t want to go any crazier than I am now, that’s how I handle my illness fears. I do the stuff I said above, and then that’s it. It basically works. I get twinges when I hear someone cough or sneeze nearby, but that’s also nothing new.
Pluses for cruising include being able to go to new places and not have to break in new hotel rooms. One room. It gets the decontamination ritual, and then I’m done for the trip. And the stateroom attendants tend to be religious about cleaning. They don’t want a flu outbreak, either. Probably less than the passengers do since they live on these boats for months.
Also, no new restaurants to learn about. For food and eating related anxieties, there is nothing like having the exact same table with the exact same servers every night. You learn the routine, and then meals are really stress free after that. And, since all the food is prepaid, you can send anything back that does not work for whatever reason. Chicken look underdone? Send it back and get the lasagna. No problem. They’ll bring you both right from the get go, if you want.
Oh, another downside of cruising. Internet rates are like 37 cents a minute, minimum. So you end up typing out your whole post before jumping on line quickly and posting it, hoping you don’t have too many typos.
Your Hostess With Neuroses
Monday, December 7, 2009
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