Saturday, September 7, 2013

Folding a Monkey

OK, Holland America is starting to scare me a little.

On my first cruise with them, a cute little animal folded from towels showed up at the foot of the bed every evening.  (I guess some other cruise lines do this, too.)  The towel animals were adorable, and different every night, and I thought, "how lucky we are to have such a talented cabin steward!"

By last year's cruise, a book was available to show interested parties how to fold 40 different towel animals.  I was tempted to buy the book, but really - I've only mastered 3 or 4 different ways to fold napkins, and I occasionally do invite people over to dinner.  Learning to fold towel animals would only make sense if I wanted to entertain and astonish overnight guests, preferably guests under the age of 10.  In the two years I've lived in this house, I've never had a single overnight visitor.  Plus, I was worried that buying the book would spoil the mystery of how the undoubtedly overworked and underpaid cabin stewards managed to pull this off in all of their cabins every single night.

This year, during our second at-sea day, the cruise line actually offered a seminar in how to fold towel animals.  I caved.  I went.  I bought the book.

I also took pictures.  See below.  I apologize for the heads in the way - people came really early for this so we ended up sitting fairly far back and I had to take some of the photos looking at the TV screens rather than the demonstrators.

"A towel animal is a depiction of an animal created by folding small towels. It is conceptually similar to origami, but uses towels rather than paper. Some common towel animals are elephants, snakes, rabbits and swans. 

"The exact originator of towel animals is unknown, but their popularity is often attributed to Carnival Cruise Lines.  The ancestors of the towel animals are perhaps handkerchief animals or napkin folds. 

"Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Disney Hotels and Holland America Line cruises will often place towel animals on a patron's bed as part of their nightly turndown service. Towel animals are also appearing in higher-end hotels and resorts such as Grupo Vidanta's Grand Luxxe Residence Clubs in Nuevo Vallarta and Riviera Maya." 

 ~Wikipedia entry for "towel animal"

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