Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey

| MA, USA | Right | August 2, 2017

(I work for a ferry service. We have multiple trips every hour.)

Customer: *on the phone* “Hi. What are the times for the boat?”

Me: “Well, we run all day long. What time do you need to go?”

Customer: “Okay, just tell me the last time it leaves the city.”

Me: “The last time is 10 pm.”

Customer: “You don’t have any boats before that?”

Deafly Doesn’t Need It

| Long Island Sound, NY, USA | Related | May 11, 2016

(My family and I are on a ferry boat travelling to Long Island like we do every summer since I was a child. My grandfather has lost most of his hearing and refuses to wear a hearing aid because he “doesn’t need it.” This is the conversation I overhear between my dad and Grandfather, both standing at the railing along the edge of the boat.)

Dad: “Hey, Pop, when you were younger, back in your wild days, would you have thought twice about diving right off of a boat like this?”

Grandfather: “Oh, no thanks, I already had a cheeseburger.”

Dad: “…”

That Was A Walk In The Parallel Park

| Norway | Friendly | October 28, 2015

(It’s just after 7:30 am. I’m going on a day-trip to Denmark with a few friends of mine, and we’re about to drive on board the ferry. Friend #1 is driving. We’re one of the last cars to board, and we have to park on the ramp, which will only be raised and leveled out after all the cars are on board. Not only do we have to park at an angle, we also have to parallel park. Friend #1 has only driven for about a year and a half at this point, and is, understandably, a little freaked out. Luckily, she has help from a helpful, and VERY enthusiastic, parking attendee. He never stops smiling.)

Attendee: “Okay, are you ready for some parallel parking?”

Friend #1: “No!”

Worker: “Sure you are! I’ll guide you, come on!”

(He proceeds to guide her through the entire process; how to turn the wheel, when to stop and drive forwards and backwards, and even gives her encouraging remarks alongside the rest of us.)

Me: “You’re doing great, [Friend #1]!”

Friend #2: “Yeah, you can do this!”

Attendee: “Almost there. Ready to move forward a bit?”

Friend #1: *horrified* “No!”

Worker: “Yes, you are!”

(Although it’s a tight fit, she parks the car perfectly. We thank the worker for his help.)

Friend #3: “We should have filmed this.”

Ropey With The Truth

| Victoria, BC, USA | Related | February 18, 2015

(I grew up in a small town that had a two-car ferry pulled by ropes across the river. This story takes place when I’m eight and we’re vacationing in BC.)

Me: *looking at the back of the giant ferry* “Dad, how do they get the ferry to go between the islands? I don’t see the rope.”

Dad: *who’s an engineer* “Well, you see… they have a hook on the bottom of the boat. And each island has a set of ropes and pulleys under water. So the captain has to use the hook to grab the rope and the boat is pulled across that part of the water. He has to grab the rope at just the right time, or the boat will crash into the island. Watch closely, and you might be able to see the hook.”

(Thanks, Dad. You could have just said the boat has an engine and propellers.)

Mambo Italiano

| Italy | Romantic | August 27, 2014

(I’m on a trip with my university’s ‘ancient studies’ department to Italy. We’re taking a ferry from the Bay of Naples to Sicily. My friend and I spot a few cute Italian guys our age on board, and I take a liking to one in particular. We run into them later in the night and get chatting. The one I like (Guy #1) speaks the most English, which suits me just fine. Another guy (Guy #2) is being a bit more flirtatious.)

Guy #2: “You say you have a cabin?”

Me: “Yes, I share a cabin with someone else on our trip.”

Guy #2: “Is she there now?”

Me: “I think she’s at the dance party out on the deck. It’s okay, though. I can guard the room without her.”

Guy #2: “Would you like someone to stay with you until she comes back?”

Me: “Um, no, thanks.”

Guy #2: *points* “Would you like [Guy #3] to go back with you?”

Me: “Uh… no.”

Guy #2: *points to himself* “Do you want ME to go back with you?”

Me: “No, grazie.”

(Suddenly, Guy #3 gets up and starts saying something very quickly in Italian that I don’t understand. Guy #1 covers his eyes with his hand and sighs.)

Me: “Sorry, what did he say?”

Guy #1: “He wants to sing and dance for you.”

Me: “Oh! Um, that’s okay. He doesn’t have to.”

Guy #1: *says something in Italian to Guy #3 that I roughly understand as ‘She says no. Sorry, man.’*

Guy #3: “No, no! I good dancer! Watch!”

Guy #1: *tells Guy #3 off in Italian again and gives me an apologetic smile* “Sorry about him…”

(My friend starts laughing and eventually convinces me to go find my cabin-mate. I bump into Guy #1 later and he gave me his number!)

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