January 13, 2011

Iceberg, right ahead!

I'm reading my Titanic book - it's awesome!  Its called Lost voices from the Titanic and it has all sorts of letters and oral responses from people who built the ship, were on the ship and survived, and even some words of those who perished.  They had a mail room and from the journey from Southampton to Cherbourgh and then to Queenstown some of the passengers wrote letters and had them mailed from these cities.  It is very interesting.  The accounts of these people really put the whole thing in perspective!  You know what surprises me?  Of all the people who voiced their stories, not one of them talks about how cold the water was?!?  I feel like that is all I think about when I imagine what it must have been like to try to survive this disaster, jumping into the freezing water and getting to safety.  No one talks about it!  I guess with the fear and adrenaline people were just not concerned about it?  Although, they do talk about their friends and families that died of exposure and frost bite, so you KNOW it had to be cold.  Interesting! 

It is heart breaking reading the accounts of the women and children who lost their hubbies and dads, the tearful goodbyes as they were thrown into life boats!  The book also has the stats on 1,2 and 3rd class and how many from each category lived and died.  By far the most were 3rd class men, its so sad!

Which gets me thinking, how grateful I am that our social classes, while they still exist, don't give us the upper or lower hand for survival as much as it used to.  I know these circles still exist and sometimes it does matter, but if a cruise ship went down in the middle of the Atlantic, no one would be saying 1st class first!  Only woman and children, sorry!  If a man wanted to get on a life boat with his wife and kids, he would be allowed!  Of course, most men would probably choose to let women and children get off first, but at least they have the choice!  And these days, there are enough lifeboats to go around, so really my hypothetical is moot;) 

The lifeboat situation itself is absurd, there was enough space for 64 boats, which was more then double the amount of passengers on Titanic's maiden voyage!  They only used 16 - 16?!?!?  Because the space looked too cluttered.  Not that is actually WAS too cluttered, it LOOKED that way.  There would have been plenty of space.  So stupid!  I'm glad that as a whole, our society is not collectively that dumb these days.  Someone, somewhere would say...hey....don't you think we at least need enough for the people aboard?  And they would fight until it happened, involving the gov or safety people or something. 

I'm more than halfway through this one.  I'm giving it a 3.5. It's really good and informative, but it gets a 3.5  because it's not a suck-me-into-it story, it is just really interesting.  If you've always wanted to know more about Titanic, this is a great book to read!  Don't watch the movie, it's not all accurate, that was Hollywood's version, the real life stories are much better!!

Oh and I've replaced my 10th book, that stupid Cholera one...I'm reading another non-fiction called, "My Years with Julia" written by Nancy Verde Barr.  She was a friend of Julia Child, so I get to learn a little more about this amazing woman's life and stories. 

I really love learning;)