Yi Shun Went to Antarctica and All I Got Was This Stupid Postcard*

*Actually, you didn’t even get a postcard.

You didn’t get a postcard because I was too busy staring at the water, ice, penguins, leopard seals, crazy-ass predator birds that sounded like miniature Blue Angels as they went by, looking to find out what we were and whether or not we were worthy adversaries. This happened twice, once while I was standing on a beach with my Dad, once while I was hiking up a long hill to get to a vista I won’t even try to describe to you.

You probably didn’t get a postcard because I was in the 6th-floor lounge, watching the waves crash over the railing and thinking about Ernest Shackleton in his 22-foot dinghy in those same waters, with no fancy GPS. And then you didn’t get a postcard because I was on the bridge with some first mates and stuff or whatever they call the guys who manage the ship while the captain’s doing other things, seeing what they see and trying to decipher the five billion screens and knobs and buttons they have going on, and looking at the maps and watching them plot points and stuff and asking stupid questions like “Do you guys still use the sextant every once in a while?”**

**Answer: “No. I mean, only if we have to. Ugh.”

And also learning things like the different names for sea-ice and other floaty bits, like “bourgignon”–“parce que c’est comme la cuisine, vous voyez?”–and my favorite, “bergi-bits.”

BERGI-BITS!***

***This is the perfect name for a chihuahua.

You most definitely did not get a postcard because I was busy making friends with the types of people who go on “expedition cruises.” Also, every once in awhile, begrudgingly sampling the “cocktail of day,” which was almost always some sugary oddly colored concoction, made with loooove by ze French bartenders, quoi.

And oh yeah, you didn’t get a postcard because I would have scribbled it in some half-assed pidgin French, which is what I used on the ship, since they all said my French was excellent. That was kind of awesome. But now I’m trying to figure out how to maintain it. (Frenchies out there, come talk to me.)

You didn’t get a postcard because I was busy chasing my dad around a 446-foot ship, trying desperately to get him to see what I seeing, before I realized that maybe he had seen what he wanted to see, and wanted to spend some time by himself processing it. Also that, if he was going to give me free rein to hang out on the bridge late at night and socialize whenever I wanted and sit on the beach and draw some things instead of accompanying him everywhere, then maybe he deserved the same consideration.

Any time I would have spent writing postcards was instead spent on two excursions off the main ship a day, in sturdy little Zodiac ™ boats, driven around by bad-ass naturalists to look at bad-ass leopard seals and village-idiot penguins.****

****Was grossly disappointed to find out they’re not the brightest birds on any continent. If something is so outrageously cute, it’d be nice if it were also brilliant, n’est-ce pas?

I mean, I wanted to send you a postcard. But I was in a food coma a lot of the time, from some really innovative cuisine and wine at lunch and dinner. You know what that does to a person’s cognitive functions.

I wanted to tell you all about the stuff I saw, but I told my Dad instead. That’s okay.

But I did make you this:

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and here:

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And okay, I took some photos, too.

Sorry about the postcards. :)

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Writer, editor, general crazy-pants.

One Response to Yi Shun Went to Antarctica and All I Got Was This Stupid Postcard*
  1. N2 says:

    Love that you went with your Dad. Love that you had such a good time. Love the drawings. What’s not to love? x0 N2

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