I often go on river cruises when I’m on holiday. I’ve been on river cruises in Paris (I technically lived in Paris at the time but so many years have passed that now it feels like it was just a really long holiday…) Amsterdam, Vienna, Boston (as in Boston – Massachusetts rather than Boston – Lincolnshire, although I do have the rare privilege of having been to both Bostons) and probably other places that escape my recollection for the moment.
Mrs Proclaims (we decided that my other half needs a ‘blog name’ and we’re trying out Mrs Proclaims – let me know what you think) and I enjoy a good river cruise.
We also enjoy an open-top bus tour but I digress.
The other day I went on a river cruise much closer to home than my previous excursions. I live within walking distance of the Thames and such things are possible, but I don’t really tend to participate in touristy stuff in Reading. This is less because I live here and more because Reading isn’t really a touristy town.
But I saw there was a Groupon voucher for a local river tour and obviously Groupon vouchers change everything…
So I booked Mrs Proclaims and I onto the cruise and when the day arrived we went along, with genuine anticipation, to the excitingly named ‘Thameside Promenade’, from where our boat was due to leave.
Upon boarding the boat, I received praise from the ‘captain’ (obviously he didn’t hold a military rank but he did seem to be in charge of the boat which presumably did make him a ‘captain’ of sorts. Certainly he did at one point refer to the only other person working on the boat that day as being his ‘crew’ which is the kind of arrogance I would associate with a ‘captain’). The praise was for having remembered to book in advance, as per my Groupon voucher instructions, because apparently not everyone who buys a Groupon voucher manages to do that.
I beamed with pride and took my seat. Mrs Proclaims asked me what I was so happy about and upon explaining to her that I had received praise for being able to follow a simple instruction written on a voucher, I then felt a bit silly. Because, and I don’t want to appear like I’m bragging here, but I have achieved more noteworthy things than that in my life to date.
Like getting Mrs Proclaims to marry me.
Anyway, the river cruise was eminently pleasant. It wasn’t the most interesting or insightful of cruises, but the Berkshire countryside is certainly lovely at this time of year and there is something relaxing about being on a boat.
But something did keep occurring. Whenever we were passed by another boat, all of the passengers waved at us. And I noticed that people walking along the banks were waving at us too.
I remember as a child, being encouraged to wave at boats. I enjoyed it, and people often waved back.
Equally, as an adult, if a child waves at me, be they on the boat and me on the land, or vice versa, than I’m more than happy to give a little wave back
But on this particular day there were no children on our boat and from what I could see, there were no children on the other boats, or indeed on the banks.
It was exclusively adults waving at adults.
Now this is all very pleasant but is ‘adults waving at adults’ a thing? Because if is a thing, I didn’t get the memo.
I have no idea what the etiquette is in this situation!
I feel hugely under-prepared for future boat rides.
I’m not an inexperienced river cruiser but I honestly think this is the first time this has happened to me. My understanding was that ‘waving protocol’ applies exclusively when children are involved. It can be ‘adult to child’ or ‘child to child’ but never ‘adult to adult’.
Was I wrong about that?
I’m not against waving to adults if it is an internationally accepted practice, but if it’s just a Berkshire thing then I need to know.
I’m not even sure where to begin looking for the answers.
This swan certainly couldn’t help…