When we ported in Labadee during the second week of our cruise last month, I was the only one in our party who wanted to get off the ship. Everyone else was happy to stay on board and enjoy the nearly-private pool amenities and such, but I wasn’t done with blue waters and white sand. Even if I had just seen it the week before, as it was a double stop for us.
So I set off on my own and rented a floating beach mat, found my little spot in the shade for my things, and set to floating around the water and doing some serious people watching. I paid particular attention to a guy and a little boy, who bypassed me and were headed out to even deeper waters. I was already at a spot that was over my head, and the waters were rather rough due to the Hurricane that was passing thru San Juan. So it was choppy and deep and this little dude was swimming out past me. Well, after a few more minutes, the man sent the little boy back to shore by himself, and the man continued out further with his snorkel equipment. I could see the little fella dogpaddling like hell (he was a rather adept swimmer), and as he got closer to me I shoved my beach mat in his direction so he could grap onto the edge and rest a little bit.
He was happy about that and caught his breath for a few minutes and then we started chatting. I tried to talk to him, but found out he spoke German and didn’t have much of an understanding of English. With the universal “thumbs up” sign, I was able to communicate that it was okay for him to stay on the mat if he wanted to and we bopped along in the water together for a while, each enjoying the swell of the waves with the security of a floater beneath us.
I started testing the waters of the language barrier and asked him how old he was, asking if he was 8 years old, pointing at him and holding up 8 fingers. He said, “Yes, I am 8 years old. How old are you?” I replied, “42” (I was already claiming 42 to get myself used to the number) and held up the corresponding fingers. A slight recoil and an exclamation of, “OH MEIN GOTT!” was the response. Yeah, Pal, that’s my thought on it too. OH MEIN GOTT. He did proceed to expound on it with, “You say that “Oh My God” we say “Oh Mein Gott.” Yeah, I Gott it. That exclamation needed no translation Little Buddy. He told me his mom was 29. Happy Birthday to me 🙂 I’m officially 42. Well, in a few hours anyway. Oh Mein Gott.