If you’ve been on a cruise before, you’ll quickly understand that the crew lead lives very different from us. The majority of the people I’ve met have learned English as a second language. They work extremely hard to ensure that their passengers have a good time aboard their ship.
The crew on the AmaLyra is no exception. Most of them are from European bloc countries and have detectable accents. One thing that I found different about this crew is that they appear to have been trained on American idioms.
As an example, we would engage the staff with short conversation. My wife, said “how did you sleep”. He replied with a Bulgarian accent, “like a baby”. We’ve experience other encounters with the staff like that. I find it humorous to hear an American idiom coming from someone with a strong accent.
Eating in the dining room has taken on a new experience. Our server Ventsi is from Bulgaria and is happy because he gets a three week vacation in a couple of weeks.
I’m not sure how we got into this conversation, but he admitted that he is extremely strong and used to be a weightlifter. He flexed his arm and said “feel this”. I thought was kidding, after all, how many guys would feel another guy’s muscle.
Ventsi loosened up further (no, he didn’t partake in having alcohol), and let us know that he was interested in one of his female co-workers. He added she has a boyfriend back home and “he’s there and I’m here” and that “I’ve tried everything to get her to go out with me”. If you’ve read the book, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, you’ll know that men tend like to fix things.
According to the book, women tend to talk about problems and they often don’t want them solved; they simply want to discuss them verbally. On the other hand, guys don’t mind receiving tips on how to solve a problem. Recalling something from my single days I said, “have you tried complimenting her on her shoes?”
He said, “I’ve tried everything…. I complimented her on her hair and what she wears”. I responded back, many women really care about the shoes they wear. Then my wife looked at me and said that I’ve never complimented her on her shoes. I quickly realized that it was time to disengage with Ventsi and return to our normal table conversation.
That evening I went for our chef’s recommendations: crab meat cake and braised duck leg. Instead of broccoli cream soup, I substituted it for a lamb consommé and a classic crème brûlée for dessert.