A Matter of Perspective
Aren’t you glad you never booked the cruise on the Triumph last week? There’s just nothing on a ship that can ruin a party more quickly than a fire and engine failure! The only thing that could possibly be worse is hitting an ice-burg such as was the fate of the Titanic!
Like so many things in life, it’s really just a matter of perspective when you consider the mess on the Triumph compared to other travel problems going back just a few years. Consider the crossing of the Atlantic in the time of Christopher Columbus? I doubt very much if the Pinta, Nina or Santa Maria had any comforts on board at all that even remotely resembled the food provision, sanitation, sleeping accommodations or anything else that we so much take for granted today!
How about the Mayflower, did those folks get lobster for dinner, soda pop, even intermittent cell phone service? Consider my own Grandmother migrating from England in the late 1800s, booked in steerage class, stuck down in the stinking hull of a steam-ship? “Steerage class”, famous for the rats, bad odors of human waste, and vomit from those that were seasick!
I have personal memories of crossing the Atlantic in a troop ship in the early 1950s. Just to compare, consider that the Triumph is nearly nine hundred feet long, seventeen stories tall, our-troop ship was just a little over six hundred feet long. I do not remember the name of our troop-ship but it should have been called the USS Barf-a-lot! We had roughly 3000 on board! The Triumph had roughly 4000 souls on board in probably 15 or twenty-five times as much space as we had.
I don’t remember being served lobster on that troop-ship either but I can remember standing while eating, with food on a tray in front of us on a table about four-foot high in the mess hall. I can remember one of the sea-sick fellows throwing up right in front of those of us who were eating, that took care of any appetite that we thought we had, most of us took a mad rush to the nearest open exit! I don’t remember having a private state-room either, we slept seven deep on canvas stretched between an iron frame, eighteen inches apart. I’m very sure that during the Second World War, accommodations on submarines were much worse than that!
It took 14 days to reach Bremerhaven Germany from new York Harbor, a good share of the troops were seasick before we got a couple hundred miles out of New York!
This little story folks, should be proof enough that misery or comfort is certainly just a matter of perspective!
TOG, (the Old Geezer from Geezerville)