2018年10月29日至30日 New York, US 美國紐約
Didn’t really have a chance to personally connect with the guide during our outing in New York as she spoke Chinese and all I had to do was interpreting for one passenger who came from Singapore/ or Malaysia who does not understand Chinese.
2018年11月3日至4日 Havana, Cuba 古巴 哈瓦那
There we did the tour “Following the footprint of Hemingway” together. We visited the hotel he stayed, his favorite bar and restaurant, and of course his mansion.
Sara was a passionate guide always with a big smile. She was willing to share all she knows and was very helpful. Some passengers even asked sensitive questions like how much money do you pay for rent, how you afford your living in the Communist country, etc. but she answered them all… I felt bad for her.
Anyway, so how did they acquire their housing? It was that her husband works for a construction company so the family gets discount to buy the place which her husband has constructed. They paid monthly until they finally pay off the whole amount. It’s like a loan however without a bank in between but they can’t own the land but they have the right to use the apartment similar to China.
So how much does a Cuban love to dance? Sara told me when her husband hears some nice music playing on TV, he would go to her and maybe she’s cooking in the kitchen or busy with some stuff at that time. But they would stop everything at hand and just enjoy dancing together. How romantic! 🥰
Did you know the world’s popular cocktail Daiquiri and Mojito were invented there in Hemingway’s favorite bar and restaurant and that they were made according to Hemingway’s favorite flavor combinations?
小知識1：你知道莎莎舞和倫巴都是源自於古巴音樂？ Guantanamera「關他啦沒啦」這首有名的民謠就是來自古巴？ 而歌詞Guantanamera, guajira guantanamera 這看起來是西班牙文但純屬古巴用語，因為詞意為 那位住在 Guantánamo郊外的女孩。 Guantánamo是古巴最東邊的一個省，把地名女性化， 而guajira聽起來像英文的war hero,導遊說就是因為以前的戰爭英雄們在戰後會得到城外的一塊土地做為達謝，後來意思延伸為城外的…。 導遊和我們解釋歌詞之後和我們同唱，然後巴士就帶我們到達了 一個漁村 ，這是讓海明威寫下他的巨作『老人與海』的重要靈感來源。
小知識2：你知道世界聞名的雞尾酒 Daiquiri和Mojito都是當地的餐廳和酒吧依海明威喜好的口味所調出來的 ？
2018年11月8日至9日 Cristobal, Panama 巴拿馬 克里斯托瓦爾
A very flexible guide. To make up for the lost time in traffic, he adjusted the itinerary to gain time yet still manage please the guests with extra photo stops.
There was an episode in the old town. There were a lot of people who had gone missing as it was dark and those streets were so winding that we had to take turns after turns. We lost half of the group somewhere! But the guide quickly went looking for people while I stayed put with the rest of the guests. Although having to wait we kept ourselves busy and entertained with a Q&A session about my personal life. Haha…😅
It all happened because just a couple of blocks away, one of our senior guests stopped walking because he believed that he lost the sight of the people who were before him. So people are like a cluster of fish, one stopped, all stopped. One staff was among them and as she didn’t know what else to do, she decided to have the whole group stand there and wait for help.
In the end, both groups reunited and expressed the gratitude for the guide. Even one of the toughest guests who had complained several times on other trips, gave him a thumb up and asked to take a photo with him. He saved the day…
On a personal note, Jorge and I talked about the life on Peace Boat and maybe he would be the next person to apply to teach English/ Spanish in the GET program on Peace boat. We’ll see…
2018年11月13日至16日 Callao, Peru 秘魯卡亞俄
With our guide, Nancy. Although getting up at 3 am, she was full of positive energy. She runs own her travel agency with a daughter and a son.
Our tour was to see Nasca line. All people were sleeping on the bus as this tour started at 4:45 am and we chatted all the way there. We drove by Pisco from Callao to take the little plane. Although I was amazed flying over the wonders in Peru, I could not enjoy a single bit after taking off. I got very sick from the motion disease and the cold air-conditioning. I think it was also due to fact of getting up too early and with a small breakfast so I must have had low blood sugar and blood pressure or something. Plus I was sitting in the back with the seatbelt loosely attached while I had nowhere to hold on to. I remember a guest asked me if I was alright, I used last bit of my energy to keep my eyes closed and just focus on my breathing. I was trying so hard not to throw up. The worst thing was even though there were bags to vomit behind each seat, I could not reach it because the emergency seat was further away to the back. But luckily I kept a plastic bag in my backpack and I had it stand by and used it to cover my legs. (OMG, was so cold!!!)
It was freaking awful having constantly cold air blowing on my cold sweat, with a spinning head and a turning stomach…I could not interpret for a while but fortunately I recovered gradually after lunch.
On the way back to the boat, we listened to Peruvian music while people were sleeping. We played some Latin music with the phone to wake up passengers for dinner. And last but not least, we had a Peruvian BBQ buffet. Yum!!! Our guide even asked the restaurant to play some local music just for us!!! With Pisco Sour, people started to dance a little. 😂 Although having a disaster earlier that day, we had a great night!
2018年11月26日 Manzanillo, Mexico 曼薩尼約，墨西哥
The guide was professional and helpful! He stayed near all the time even when there was nothing for him to do. I played Mexican music Cucalacha and La bamba with my smartphone and we sang together. He told me once he was working in the U.S. and he went to a bar with friends. Local people asked them to play some Mexican music. So he and his friends formed a band spontaneously and he was the vocal. 🧑🎤
這個導遊很專業而且幫我們滿多忙的！ 即使無事可做，他一直都呆在附近。 我用智能手機播放墨西哥音樂Cucalacha和La bamba，我們一起唱歌。 他和我說他在美國工作後，和朋友一起去了一家酒吧。 當地人看他們是墨西哥人，感覺都很會唱歌，就要求他們表演。 因此，他和他的朋友隨興組成了一支樂隊，他是主唱。🧑🎤
Do you know Pointsettia or Nochebuena (聖誕紅 ) was from Mexico? The first ambassador, Joel Roberts Poinsett, from the U.S. brought back the flower and named it in English after himself. Poinsettia Day – History
您知道Pointsettia或Nochebuena（聖誕紅）來自墨西哥嗎？ 美國的第一任大使喬爾·羅伯茨·龐塞特（Joel Roberts Poinsett）把這棵植物帶回了美國，並以他名字命名。
2018年12月5日至6日 Hawaii, US 美國檀香山
I forgot to take pictures with Simon, a Korean tour guide plus driver. But I was very happy that day because I had my own microphone and a double seat, what a luxury for an interpreter. So I don’t have to be afraid that the guide would snatch my microphone from time to time or spit at me! He is the only tour guide plus driver, and he played trivial questions with us. So this time I was not just an interpreter, I was also hosting a show. Slowly I discover your own style. Some interpreters are just doing translations, and don’t necessarily care whether the audience understands it or feel entertained. And I prefer to do things interactively. Sometimes when I take time to search for words or that I can’t respond quickly, it might be more fun to just let the guests guess what I’m describing.
夏威夷真的很美，有山有水，隨便橋下就有熱帶魚 。大家瘋狂拍照，但站在車上危險，和大家說大家可以多用眼睛看，眨眼睛的快門， 儲存在腦部的記憶體。在那裡有免費咖啡和夏威夷豆讓你試吃到飽，真的是美式的招待。
Hawaii is got it all, with really beautiful mountains and oceans. Tropical fish right under the bridge. Everyone is taking pictures like crazy, but standing in the car while it’s moving is dangerous. I told everyone that you can just use your eyes to see, blink like the shutter with your eyes, and store it in the memory of your brain 😅. There are free coffee and macadamia nuts for you to try “all-you-can-eat” style. It is really American hospitality, living in abundance!
There are also brothers and sisters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I grew up in that church, some of my knowledge just came in handy during my interpretation. If I have a chance, I will definitely go back and visit.