Posted by Noah
It had been raining on and off since we arrived. This was okay since we had to stay on board for training for most of this time. Training has consisted of a LOT of Powerpoint presentations. These have been frequently tedious and typo-riddled. (Hey, I make a lot of typos, too, but I don't project them onto a giant screen ... I just post them on blogs where millions of people can read them)
But look at it this way, it's better it's been raining. If it were sunny and gorgeous out, we'd be going crazy, stuck inside.
Today, however, was sunny and the presentationd ended by lunch. This meant we finally got a chance to go out and see a little of Nassau.
In our trip planning, we didn't exactly "count" the Bahamas as one of our stops. This was partly because we knew we'd be too busy leaving to enjoy our stay, and partly because of our snooty attitude about vacation destinations where you mostly go to lie on the beach and drink fruity drinks. We prefer adventure and learning on our travels. We're ridiculous, of course, since both are plentiful in the Bahamas and no one's MAKING us lie on the beach.
Regardless, we were excited by the chance to see a little of this port city. Very little, since we left the ship at noon and I had to be back by 1:30 and Amanda by 2:00. This meant all we could do was stroll down the streets by the docks, which are littered with t-shirt stores and Subway sandwich shops. We were out with most of Amanda's coworkers. All of us staff members in our twenties and early 30s are attempting to form some kind of unit, distinguishing us from the Gen-Y students and Boomer professors. I'm pushing for us to be called "The X-Men" but it didn't take.
It also didn't take us long to get separated. It's hard to keep ten or twelve people together, especially when each of us wanted to look in different stores. We made it through one liquor store and a few t-shirt places before we were broken up into mini-groups. Amanda and I wound up with two RDs and the Medical Assisant at a tiny food stand for lunch. We wanted some authentic Carribean food and this place offered inexpensive conch, so we went for it.
I've been wanting to try conch since Dave Barry mentioned it in a piece about Bimini, years ago. Three of use ordered a conch burger and two "crack conch" which we assumed would look a bit more like shellfish.
After a LONG wait (yeah, the stall was a one-woman operation but we were the only customers) we got served, not all at once. We were all given the conch burger, even those who ordered the other dish, and one of us didn't get the fries that were supposed to come with it because they ran out. Yeah, see, the laid back Carribean lifesyle has its downside, too.
So, how does a conch burger taste? A lot like a clamboat from Howard Johnsons. It was deep fried and breaded conch chunks on a bun with lettuce. This was my biggest culinary disappointment since that one time my father ordered an appetizer of Rocky Mountain Oysters and, rather than two large testicals on a plate, we got a dish of chopped, deep fried nuggets that tasted like any other organ meat. Sigh.
Oh, it's not that the conch burger was bad, it just wasn't nearly as special or authentic as I hoped. I suppose it's no surprise that you have to get a little farhter away from the cruise ships for authentic food. Seems like this was our last chance in Nassau, though.
Still, a pleasant afternoon, even though I had to leave early to hustle back for work.
The kids arrive tomorrow and we set sail. Wish us luck.