Friday, October 24, 2008

In Retrospective

I am looking at a bunch of people in the crew dining room, some of them I know from different ships in the past, some others yet to be met, my eyes gets fixed on something, maybe it was the evening news and the financial crisis the world is immersed in, but I am lost in my own thoughts, suddenly I remember events like the first war in Irak, or the American invasion to Panama, back in the 90’s almost twenty years ago and then it all hits me hardly, “dude, so many years, almost two decades have come and gone” My teenager years are long gone, part of my past, good memories and the bad ones, all part of a sometimes blurry past. And then, another thought strikes, “I don’t want to get even older and then have to say like many others I have heard, what did I do with my time, resources, skills, talents” It is bothering me the fact that I need to be honest with myself and admit whether or not I have already wasted or used wisely all these years. It’s not too late though, if I need to end up concluding that I have not used wisely all these years, there is still hope to rectify the rest of my time on earth. It is well known, that the time lost is lost, can not be recovered, it is also true that it is in my hand to change what’s left of my life in this linear series of events called “timelife”

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Past 12 hours

I woke up early in the morning, even though I forgot to set the clock alarm, my mind was set on the last minute arranges so that I could be ready to go to the airport. My parents were getting ready and soon after we were on the car, my dad remembers that this would be the last time at least for a while that we would all be together and decides that we could not go anywhere without first having our last prayer as a family, so my sis and brother half asleep came over and jumped on the car for a short minutes. As dad races to the airport, my mind is racing on its own. This is not the first time, in fact, I have lost the count of how many times we have gone through this, it is almost a ritual. Two months staying at home comes and goes faster than a blink of an chinese eye, and soon we are facing my departure to the far lands of the North and even Europe. Finally I make it to the airport, with plenty time to check in my luggages and have a small conversation with dad and mom. I soon go through custom and inmigration and off to the embarking gate. As the plane takes off, I suddently realize this seems to be the last time I get a goodbye from my parents to Carnival, this is big, I still can't realize the magnitud of it all. After all, I still think I should not be on this plane at all, for if everything goes as we've planned, I should be flying back to Panama in less than two months, for good!!! It sounds so good and terrifying at the same time, I never thought this date would be so close. Many good friends of mine from the ships have already taken the step of leaving the ships and stabilizing their lives. It's not easy, there are lots of questions and doubts, change of lifestyles, but for all I know, it is a must to do.
Right now, I am in Houston, at my friend's Dana place. She is an angel of God, she loves Him and seeks Him with a sincere heart. I could very well be spending the night in a local hotel till tomorrow when I am supposed to join my ship, but she offered me a bed in her house. She even cooked a french dish for dinner and we had an awesome evening chatting about everything and nothing. I am blessed to have such sort of friends. Tomorrow right before taking me to my seems-to-be-my-last-ship, she will take me to Krepes and Cremes, a famoust doughnuts restaurant which I fell in love so many years ago.
So the last chapter in Carnival begins, soon to be over, sooner than expected and I feel excited about it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My car was Hit

I feel blessed to know that after all, I will be payed for the damaged produced to my car yesterday by another car. For a moment I thought, the person was going to run away and leave me abandoned. Today, I even had to go to her workplace and wait for her, and after a couple of hours of waiting, she never showed up. I was boiling, because I thought how irresponsible and insensitive from her side, not to call me and advice me that she would not be able to attend our meeting, or even worse, she would just fade away forever leaving me the burden of the fixing of my car. After all, she called and she apologized for not been able to meet with me and that she would pay for the damages.
It is ironic, because just yesterday before the incident, I was boasting in my mind that after all these years of driving, I had never hit another car, nor I had been ever hit by a car, feeling myself proud of my "excelent driving abilities", but that bubble was soon blown up few hours later by this incident. My sister says, it doesnt matter how careful you drive and the measurement you take to avoid situations of car accidents, there will always be a good chance to be involved in one. I guess I always agreed to that, but never saw it so real until yesterday. (My sister's car was hit when her car was parked in her universtity parking lot) I learned a couple of good lessons about how to react to this, for after all I sinned of naive behaviour by not waiting for the police to evaluate and make her responsible, just because she begged me that she had not time for that and she would pay for all the damages, and it almost costed me money. See? everyday there is something to be learned, sometimes we learn the easy way, sometimes we learn the hard way, which is normally the painfully and costfull one.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Champion, Victim of Racism

Yesterday in the afternoon while listening to the TV evening news, I heard almost in disbelieve what apparently happened to be a discriminatory abuse towards a person. The issue is not new, in fact has been around for decades, even centuries. However the reason for my indignation was the mere fact that the person who suffered this abuse was our most appreciated and only Olympic Games gold medalist and champion of long jump Irving Saladino. Our champion who recently rented or bought (don't know exactly) a luxurious apartment in the city was degraded by the building administrator who apparently asked the door man in front of him "who the heck was the nigger gangster". Could it be true that this person had no idea who he was talking about? Saladino is an international icon right now, he came up in all the news in Panama and ESPN and all over, how could it be possible that a "highly educated from the high society" has no idea who the "nigger gangster" is....!!! It is unbelieveable. Perhaps he has no TV, not likely to be the case. Whichever the case is, it is way too bad that somebody who puts the whole country of Panama in the front pages of the most important Newspapers and TV documentals has to go through this kind of already unfair treat.