60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 3 September 1952;

Our last day on this continent! It was a delicious, typically Dutch breakfast. We met up with Pat, Betty and Dot again for the rest of the journey. Went shopping to check on earrings, no soap. Then I ran from store to store trying to make some last minute purchases and checked American Express for mail. I used dollars to make my purchases, I suggested that the exchange was 3.25 as a joke. Ended up back to first store to get salt and pepper and mustard Sets. It rained till it was time to go and I wasn’t packed. I could’t get everything in, so I took a skirt out. I ended up with books, skirt, new purchases and Margo’s Dresden in one arm. We took a taxi to the pier.

We left Rotterdam, the city without a heart. There were lines and more lines. This I could not bear. After visiting 5 or 6 tables I learned that my room had been changed to 136. No bag in room 136. Was I in the right place? A helpful porter sorted it out for me, and everything was under control. It was a very cute room for 5, LO, Betty, Carol, Margaret and me. Much cozier and more modern and lighter than the Sibajak.

We found the dining room. It was filled and it was too late to eat. Shucks! Just because our line was longer. We scavenged a little bread and an apple. A purser gave me a clue about postman in smoking lounge. I sent an air-letter to Mom and Dean Woodruff. There was a serpentine band singing. So this was sailing on a student boat, very different than the Sibajak. Millions of students, too, in all shapes and sizes and lots of characters. It started to rain. We found out there were sandwiches and coffee for those who missed dinner. Well we got sandwiches anyway.

In the cabin I got all my trash in one place and hung up my clothes. Yeah, no packing for 9 whole days! That would be hard to take. There were people walking past our porthole. Really top stuff this trip. We went down for dinner early but they wouldn’t let us sit down. So we hung over rail for fresh air and waited. Dinner was good except for rare meat but it was not like the Sibajak. We had quite the character for our waiter. I lost my way again. Guess I’d have to get a map of the ship.

I spent time in the library reading. It was precious time. Also did lots of writing in diary. Jiggle, jiggle, we were out on the open sea now. I talked to a student from Minnesota. He said it was best to see one thing each place, instead of running all over the place. His philosophy had merit. I stuck my nose out on deck, it was blowing and cold. Back at my cabin and all the beds were filled except mine. Mine filled too. I tried to read for a while with bed lamp on. I fell asleep. In the middle of the night L.O. woke me to turn off the light. I set my watch back before going back to sleep.

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