When Faced With Frustrations

“Cut off!”

The boat crew announced when I was fifth on the line. Without a word, he untied the rope and the engine roared to leave the port.

Can you imagine the frustration?

Five more persons to go and they announced “cut off!”

They said that the first trip was 5 o’clock. But the first boat arrived at 6:15. Unfortunately, it only accommodated 20 passengers as the weather was unpleasant. The remaining 15 were left to wait for the next boat, which arrive 10 minutes later.

The biting wind was eating my temper. My head was pulsating while my stomach was growling like monsters.

It was summer but the sky was grey. The rain was breaking my umbrella’s twiggy frame.

As soon as the next boat arrived, we rushed in to find a dry shelter. I was the last passenger to get in.

From the zombie-like expressions of the passengers’ faces, everyone was having the worst morning of their lives.

Another 10 minutes passed and it seemed like an hour. People began crouching on their seats to express their frustrations.

“Why are we still here?”

“Where are the crew?”

“I demand a refund!”

Soon the 3 crews walked in. The passengers were cursing them.

I was amazed at how the crew dealt with the situation. They smiled calmly and apologized. It wasn’t even their fault! If we were to play the blame game, it was the bad weather.

A few minutes later, while the pump boat was fighting against the turbulent water, a ten-year-old boy was arching his back on his mother’s lap. His face turned pale as he held a plastic bag on his mouth. As soon as he lifted his face, the smell of vomit spread inside the boat.

Unbearable smell! My head was moving in circles until I tasted acid rising from my stomach.

“When will this ever end?” I murmured to myself.

The sea continued to slap the boat from side to side. When the motor died, a second almost felt like an eternity while the only sounds you hear were the rain on the plywood roof, the unfriendly waves of the sea and the gagging of passengers.

Looking at the crew, despite the constant grumbling of the passengers and the rough sea, their faces remained calm.

It reminded me of what my grandfather used to tell me.

“Look outside the window. See the waves? They’re dancing.”

“Don’t grasp the bench.”

“Don’t resist the waves.”

“Go with the flow.”

“Relax.”

At the moment, none of my grandpa’s advice was working. The stress was too much. But I managed to hold my empty stomach and my temper until we arrived at the destination.

But what if the boat captain and his crew answered back irritably to each of the passengers’ complaints?

What if they reacted irritably to the situation?

What if they panicked when the motor died in the middle of the turbulent sea?

I learned from the crew that when situations are extreme and are beyond our control, the best thing to do is to relax, avoid making unnecessary resistance and go with the flow!

If all else fails, relax. Put a smile on your face. Everything will eventually fall into its proper place.

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