Today was Neptune Day. I can’t say for sure if that is what it’s officially called in a sailor’s culture, but that is what it’s called on Semester at Sea. Those of us who had not crossed the equator before were called pollywogs, and have now become shellbacks (even though we actually crossed the equator a couple of weeks ago, but we had class or something inconsequential like that). Neptune Day on our ship involves a day off from classes, a ritual grossing out (usually pouring fish guts on us, but it was actually some sort of salty green slimy mixture), a hop in the pool, kissing a fish, and kissing Neptune’s ring (very sanitary, eh?) I got myself nice and salty and had some fun. People were shaving their heads, and thought that trying to convince me to do so would be fun. I forcefully declined; my hair is as much a part of me as Awkward Tourist is, and I’m not shaving my Awkward Tourist off, no sir.
The best part of Neptune Day for sure was tacos for lunch. It’s sad that packaged taco meat and some cheddar Doritos makes for the tastiest meal I’ve had in what seems like years, but the El Paso salsa and frozen guacamole might as well have been a Maine lobster tail for the fuss we made over it. Pasta and potatoes be damned! It may have been ground into a paste, but dammit, it was meat! Somehow I don’t think the sailors of old stuffed themselves with chocolate cake and crunchy taco shells after they crossed the equator, but maybe we’ve started a new tradition. From what I’ve heard, however, taco days are legendary and therefore extremely rare. I may not see the next one, however, because I foresee myself jumping overboard if I have to endure another helping of home fries or watery fettuccine alfredo.