across the sea

Across the sea

 The return of passenger ships on the high seas
had been welcomed by many

 Airplanes had been polluting the skies for a century,
and so it was with great pleasure
that people began to cross the seas by ship
again

 From New York to Hamburg,
from San Francisco to Hong Kong,
and to and from
a few other places
ships sailed once a week,
taking a week or two,
and sometimes three,
to reach their destination

 And they were always full
because many people had finally realized
that it was time to begin doing things slowly
and in a sustainable manner

 The ships resembled those that used to cross the oceans,
in recognition of the fact
that it was generally not necessary
to change a design
every year

 The propellers were quieter than those on earlier ships
so as not to disturb the whales,
and a few other dashes of modernity
could be seen here and there,
but the ships were otherwise as beautiful and elegant
as their foremothers

 The cabins were unpretentious yet beautiful,
and the meals were simple and healthy
There was a music room
for those who had brought instruments
and a meditation hall
for those in need of absolute silence

 These ships were unlike modern cruise ships
in that no food was wasted
and no effort was made
to entertain the passengers
People were encouraged to enjoy simple pleasures
such as watching the passing dolphins,
looking at the stars
and talking with each other
now and then

 On board the Sea Flower
the evening jam was underway,
and a few of the passengers were dancing
while some of the others drank tea
and ate cookies

 Sure, it takes longer,
but why hurry?
I’d rather spend two weeks on a comfortable boat
than twelve hours on an uncomfortable plane

 Me too
It so nice that passenger ships exist again
Trains and ships
are my favorite ways to travel

 Mine too
They don’t pollute nearly as much
as cars and planes,
and one is free to get up and walk around

 Yeah
And we can gradually adjust to a new climate

 It’s really nice
that the use cameras and telephones
is prohibited while on board,
and that there is no access
to the Internet

 Yeah
Here we have the chance to connect
in a different way

 It’s also nice
that there are no plastic bottles on the ship
In fact,
I don’t think there is any plastic at all

 Yeah,
our great-grandparents managed to thrive
without plastic
We should be able to do so as well
It’s insane
that people buy water in plastic bottles
That’s one of the reasons the ocean is full of plastic
and the fish are dying
People think that the plastic they throw in the recycling bin
gets recycled somehow,
but often it simply ends up in the ocean
or gets sent to China,
where it is burned in an incinerator
and then comes back with the wind

 And then we breathe it in

 Yeah
Plastic sucks

 Yeah
I prefer to buy drinks
that come in glass bottles

 Me too

 When I am traveling,
I always carry a metal water bottle in my bag,
but sometimes I run out of water and feel thirsty,
so I buy a Coke
It’s often the only drink available
in a glass bottle

 Yeah
And in many countries
those bottles are washed and reused

 Yeah,
that’s pretty cool

 Coke has done some pretty uncool things too

 So has Pepsi

 Yeah
They both go around buying lakes
that belong to everyone nearby
and then take away their water

 Yeah,
and they pollute the area around their factories

 Yeah
Making Coke and Pepsi
is a rather toxic process

 Yeah

 I used to drink a lot of Coke

 Me too
I like it better than Pepsi

 And then one day I decided to stop eating and drinking
unhealthy things,
so I began to limit myself
to one bottle of Coke a week
I’d have it on Friday after work
with a bag of Kettle Chips

 Kettle Chips are good
Which flavor do you like best?

 Honey Mustard

 Honey Mustard is pretty good
I like Salt and Vinegar too

 After a few months
I realized that I wasn’t enjoying Coke
as much as before,
so I began to drink it only once a month

 Good idea
I’ve cut back on Coke too

 I still have a Coke about once a month,
but now I only enjoy it half the time
Often I tell myself I should stop buying it altogether,
but sometimes it is quite nice

 It would be great
if someone were to produce a healthy cola

Yeah,
one that came in a glass bottle

 Glass is cool

 Yeah

 The two friends then fell silent
and began to observe
the whales that were swimming nearby

 ♫ ♫ ♫