So the Burnetts are still in Gibraltar. We are irritable. We have cabin fever. It has been raining here almost every day. And we are learning that just because we are out of the Med, we are not out of Europe, yet. And Europe is weird. We miss home. Even if “home” elected Trump, disappointing us and almost every American intellectual who used to believe in America. Apparently, the apocalypse is coming. Which is why we are a bit smug to be citizens of the world, living on a boat, living “off the grid.” Ha! Not really.
We haven’t been this cold in over a year. I mean, it is in the fifties (Fahrenheit), people! And it is wet. Mel can visualize all of her friends in Minnesota shedding a tear for her. Sure they are. As they put on their winter coats. And scrape the windows of their cars. The tear is frozen to their faces.
Oh jealous Midwesterners, do not envy us! We lately have had to forage for everything that we used to just go to Target and pick up. Mel and Greg got into an audible fight, in fact, transiting Commonwealth Park, a classic English garden crammed with Birds of Paradise, water features, and gazebos, organized in orderly British fashion. (I’m sure observers thought, “Ugh! Disruptive Americans!” Let’s just say that the Brits are delighted they aren’t the most shameful people in the world anymore.) Mel was disgruntled because she was unable to find a decent upholstery store that would allow her to replace the front cockpit cushion that went overboard in Sardinia, and Greg was disgruntled because Ullman had promised our new trampoline to us by November 24, and the “ship by” date ended up to be December 2, thanks to the incompetence of an Ullman employee named Winston Wiggins. No, seriously. That’s his name.
This argument transpired on the way to find a notary public. We have some transactions to notarize. When one finally has no income for a year, one makes transactions. And so we experienced yet another culture shock, which when you experience as much culture shock as we have, should be renamed, “Culture UGH.” You see, in America, when you have something notarized, it takes 10 minutes and costs you 10 bucks. Here in Gibraltar, it’s a different story. Apparently, notary publics have to go to law school and then take an additional two years of training in order to recognize proper documents reflecting civil and international law. It is a respectable legal subspecialty. They even assess mental capacity of the clients! The Archbishop of Canterbury himself approves their position as notary public, signing a vellum document proudly displayed in the office. (Mel had to suppress: “Doesn’t that violate separation of church and state?”) Also, when your documents are notarized, you get a special binding with ribbon, a gold seal, and a 60-90 Pound bill. Thirty minutes later. Thank you for educating us on the system, notary public Christopher James Keightly-Pugh. No, seriously. That’s his name.
Gibraltar is not all bad, of course. We have eaten every other night at Raj’s Curry House, indulging in spices we haven’t encountered in some time. We have had tea at the restaurants lining Queensway Quay, sucking in egg salad sandwiches and our personal teapots at 4 pm. Tommy would point out that although the Wi-Fi is terrible at the marina, we have been able to find efficient SIM cards through Gibraltar TeleCom, even though we have to renew our daily 3 Gig in person. We have also partaken of Gibraltar Crystal, skilled glassblowers that made our new scotch tumblers expertly. You heard that right. We bought GLASSWARE for OUR BOAT. We apparently didn’t learn anything after the “Shattered Champagne Glass Disaster of 2015”. Feet don’t have brains, people. But our old acrylic tumblers looked like crap, so, in reference to a famous quote by Alec Baldwin’s character on the awesome show 30 Rock…
We have been trapped here in Gibraltar awaiting package deliveries and good weather to get to Morocco. We have learned that Amazon.UK delivers to Gibraltar, but unfortunately any computer games are in “European format.” Returned, only after shed tears. We currently have a European-to-US plug adaptor strapped to the post of our saloon table so that we can use some electronics that we bought to replace our corroded US electronics. And while we were able to find a frozen-since-June, “British” turkey, Mel had to cobble together an apple pie from a bakery that didn’t understand why we would want to order a specific pie to be made. Forget them knowing anything about pumpkin pie! So although similar folks in the US are having trouble finding the spirit for this Thanksgiving, here is what the Burnetts are thankful for:
America is no longer a BRITISH COLONY.
Oh Midwesterners, celebrate this! Nothing is truer to the spirit of the original Thanksgiving!
We will be here for at least five more days. Then, Morocco. After reading this post, one could predict: that should go well.