Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Class Consciousness

Semester at Sea is a set-up for focusing on contrasts, particularly when it comes to questions of class and privilege. Visiting cities in Africa, India, and Asia would have been different enough from my lower middle class American existance, but ever since stepping on board, I’ve been completely pampered and coddled, just to further the gap. I’m not allowed to carry my own food tray to the table – there’s always an extremely polite, sweet young man from another, invariably poorer, country there to whisk it away from me while I follow obediently behind. And my room is made up not ONCE a day, but TWICE! This picture shows how my bed has been “turned down” for me every evening. Yeesh! Make them stop! I can’t help but wonder how much they’re being paid (I would assume not nearly enough) to leave family and friends behind for months at a time to turn down the beds of spoiled Americans. Do they know this doesn’t happen to us in our normal lives?

Aside from that, our journey continues with good food, bad coffee, and somewhat infrequent laundry service, which may force me to do some dreaded shopping once we land in Halifax (tomorrow). Oh, and I get my four work-study students tomorrow as well. Looks like I’m going to need them!

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