(author unknown)


Day 1.  We have eaten our way across the Atlantic on a nice cruise ship.  We are in Málaga, Spain.  There are a lot of foreign people here.  The only ones who speak English are the ones who want to sell something to you.  We went sightseeing today and saw a cathedral built in the 14th century, a stone wall built by Julius Caesar, and a statue of a man on a horse with a pigeon sitting on the man’s hat.  There is a strange piece of plumbing in my hotel bathroom.


Day 2.  Today we saw a cathedral built in the 14th century and a stone wall built by Julius Caesar.  I asked the maid what that thing is in the hotel bathroom.  She blushed and ran out of the room.  I’m very confused about pesetas, not being sure what they are worth.  For my record of purchases, I’m writing them down this way:  one silver bracelet costs three big coins and one middle-sized and two little ones.  This will probably look strange on my customs declaration.  One lady in our group tried to exchange money in the grocery store.  She understood the guide to say that the Spanish used potatoes instead of pesetas. 


Day 3.  Granada.  There are a lot of foreigners here, too.  One man in our group had spent all summer studying Arabic since Granada is known as a Moorish city.  Today he learned that Arabic hasn’t been spoken here since the Moors left in 1491.  This afternoon we saw a 14th century cathedral and a stone wall built by Julius Caesar, and it looked like the same statue of a horse with a man sitting on it, with a pigeon on the man’s hat.  The hotel here has the same thing in the bathroom. 


Day 4.  Driving through the Spanish countryside today, we saw three different herds of goats.  It looked like about 300 or 400 goats in each herd.  I can’t imagine what they do with all those goats.  We are seeing some interesting things but it isn’t easy to understand the local guides.  The one we had today must have studied English from a Japanese teacher in Czechoslovakia.  I don’t know when I have eaten so little for breakfast and so much for the other meals.  The service in the dining room is so slow that I get hungry again between the courses.  I have bought a few little souvenirs and it took me an hour and fifteen minutes to pack tonight.


Day 5.  Today we saw a 14th century cathedral and a stone wall built by Julius Caesar.  I think the highway we were on was also built by Mr. Caesar.  It hasn’t stood up as well as the walls have.  We also saw another statue of a horse with a man sitting on it, with a pigeon on the man’s hat.  The bathroom here has the same thing in it.  I asked the bellboy what it was, but he walked away.  Our tour group turns out to be very nice, and we find that we have a lot in common.  Mostly what we have in common is head colds and tourist disease.  Today we saw some more herds of goats.  I find that I’m spending a whole lot of money for postcards and airmail stamps.  One woman on our tour who has travelled a lot says she asks her friends before she leaves home, “Which do you want – a postcard or a pill box?”  They cost about the same.  Airmail for one letter from Spain costs two middle-sized coins and the stamps are so big!!  I had one letter weighted for airmail, and when I put enough stamps on it, it weighed so much more that I had to put more stamps on.  The Spanish mailboxes are not much like ours at home.  There is no collection time on them, and the hole at the top is a very big one, instead of being a narrow little slot.


Day 6.  This evening I saw the Barber of Seville.  He gave me a very good haircut for just two big coins and two little ones.  Our tour is so well organized that even the emergencies are supposed to be arranged in advance.  If you are going to fall and break your arm, they want you to do it between 3 and 5 in the afternoon, after lunch and before the cocktail hour, on weekdays only.  I mailed another big bunch of airmail postcards today.  Today we didn’t see a 14th century cathedral – it was a 13th century cathedral.  I’ve been in so many churches this week that my clothes are beginning to smell like incense and altar candles, and I find myself genuflecting even when I enter the hotel dining room.


Day 7.  At luncheon stop today, we had a set meal, and we found out what they do with all of those goats.  I asked the waiter if they had the same thing for lunch every day, and he said, “Ye-eh –e ehss.”


Day 8.  Today is a free day on the tour itinerary.  This usually means that either the shops will all be closed, or it will be raining, or that the night before, the tour escort and the guide got stoned and will need the whole day to recover.  This morning I saw three different people putting trash in the mailbox I’ve been using.  I’ll bet the post office people won’t like that very much.  I’ve been buying a few more little souvenirs, and tonight it took me two hours to pack my things, and I still had a pair of shoes left over.  I think I’ll carry them in the bird cage I bought today.

Day 9.  Portugal.  Just as I was getting used to Spanish pesetas, we have to use escudos.  Portugal has those same things in the hotel bathrooms.  Our hotel is very nice.  It has 600 rooms, 12 floors, and 1 elevator.  The elevator runs through a corner of my room.  At least my room has a very nice view.  It overlooks the hotel laundry, and there are always some interesting things hanging on the line.  In Portugal they always offer wine with the meals.  I think this is because with some of the strange things on the menu, no one would order them if he were sober.  Last night, our menu included rabbit brains with chocolate sauce.  I didn’t order any because I don’t like chocolate.


Day 10.  Manuel’s Souvenir Shop in Lisbon has some Portuguese souvenirs that are extraordinary.  The ordinary ones are made in Japan. These are made in Hong Kong.  Today we visited a 14th century cathedral and saw a stone wall built buy Julius what’s-his-name, and a statue of a horse with a man sitting on it.  There was no pigeon on the man’s hat, but anyone could see that the pigeon had been there because the man’s shoulder was completely white.  I think the Portuguese language was invented by a Spaniard with loose dentures.

Day 11.  Today I found a real bargain to buy.  There was a nice young man standing on a street corner.  He spoke very good English.  He said that his father owned the Omega watch company in Switzerland, and that his father sent him an Omega watch every week to sell to prove his ability as a salesman.  He said he was interested in international friendship, so he preferred to sell the watches to tourists at a great reduction in price.  He told me I was the lucky tourist for this week.  It was a $250 watch and he offered it to me for $85 for international friendship.  I asked if it kept good time and he said, “Did you ever see an Omega watch that didn’t keep good time?”  Of course I hadn’t.  He said it was a new model – so silent that no one could hear it tick.  Of course, I bought it because it was a good bargain and besides, I’m interested in international friendship, too.


Day 12.  Today I found a bathroom scale in the hotel, and I was surprised and pleased to see that my weight had gone down from 175 when I left home to 90.  Then I learned that the scale was marked in kilometers or something like that, and instead of losing a lot, I had gained a few pounds.  Now we are back in Spain, and we have to use pesetas again.  I find that I have 2-½ pounds of Portuguese coins left over, and nobody wants them.  I think I’ll take them home and melt them down, and make a miniature statue of a horse with a man sitting on it, with a pigeon on the man’s hat, and sell it to some tourists.


Day 13.  Now I’ve seen an Omega watch that does not keep good time.  It doesn’t even keep bad time, because there aren’t any little wheels or anything else inside it.  Of course, that nice young Mr. Omega personally guaranteed it, but he is in Lisbon, and now I’m in Madrid.  I still believe in international friendship but not quite as much as before.  Today we could understand the local guide, but it was so foggy we couldn’t see what he was describing.


Day 14.  Today we didn’t see any cathedral.  It was a mosque instead.  The difference between a cathedral and a mosque is that in a mosque there isn’t any place to sit down except in the restrooms, and then you have to face east.  A little mosque is called a mosquito.  Finally I found out what the thing is in the hotel bathroom and I used it today.  It’s to soak your underwear and drip-dry things in with detergent before you wash them.  One of the ladies on our bus uses it for something else.  She keeps ice in it to chill champagne.


Day 15. Everybody noticed when we were loading today, that the aisle of the bus is getting narrower.  We have so much souvenir junk in the bus that even the roadside vendors are trying to buy things from us.  I spent all morning packing for another move, but all the things just wouldn’t go into the bags.  Finally, I took five pounds of dirty clothes to the post office and mailed it home to my landlady.  I marked it “unsolicited gift, value $9.95”.  The postage on it was 14 big coins and 7 middle-sized ones.

Day 16.  Now we are back on the ship and ready to eat our way across the Atlantic again.  Everybody has a cold except the ship’s doctor. 


Day 17.  En route, we stopped in Funcal, Madeira.  This is a beautiful place which has everything except level ground.  The principal products are wine and lace.  In the shops they give you so much free wine that you don’t realize what you are paying for the lace.  In Funcal the ship took on 1200 tons of water, 1 ton of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the passengers brought on 2 tons of souvenirs and Madeira wine. 


I think I’ll call this my “animal trip.”  I ate like a pig, drank like a fish, followed the guide like a sheep, carried souvenirs like a burro, and stayed happy as a lark.