A family friend asked to see my pictures of the Galapagos, so I sent her the link to my Flickr sets and babbled for two sentences about turquoise water and beaches and wildlife. We then had this email exchange:
Friend: Did you swim?
Me: Swam and snorkeled and saw lots of fish. And sting rays. And sharks. But mostly fish.
Friend: I’m so happy other people travel. Those were fantastic pictures, and I’m not even jealous that you went swimming in that aquamarine bath, since you had to share it with unseemly animals.
Yellow-tailed surgeonfish. Photo by Flickr user yvettemn.
Unseemly animals! I don’t know why I’m so tickled when someone is grossed out by things I love. I didn’t even tell her about the sea turtle that swam by when I was snorkeling, the schools of yellow-tailed surgeonfish that I could have reached out and touched, the tiny lobster and the huge parrotfish, the spiny urchins, or the jellyfish barely bigger than my thumbnail.
The sharks, I should point out, were fairly small white-tipped reef sharks, probably only about four feet long. And it’s not like I was going to a sting ray petting zoo.
Also, I really need to get an underwater camera.