Wednesday, 30 March 2016

At the dentist's...

Luckily my fear of dentists is only the third on the list; otherwise Room 101 would break me in a hurry. In fact finally going to see the dentist today, despite Drej's lovely moral support, resulted in getting nothing done. I fell into uncontrollable tears the moment I saw the chair and then spent the remain of my visit either hiding, weeping or trembling too much for him to do anything but try to talk to me. On the minus side, my teeth continue to hurt and we've decided not to try and open any until I come back in December - so that's 8 more months of pain and chewing poorly. On plus side, my teeth are nowhere in as bad a condition as I thought. Carefully at first, and more insistently, he would tap them with iron or blow cold air on them - except for a lost seven somewhere in the back, none of the ugly looking ones had to complaining anything about it.. I am beginning to suspect that the reason so many of them ache is not because they’d be so very rotten, since they're not rotten at all, but because they are crammed so tight into a small jaw and the eights are pushing them forth. That’s just a theory, though. He told me to get an X-ray, but I ignored that. First, he stressed, I need to establish trust. Funny, my school councilor back in the day said the same thing. It always felt like something a crook would say. And I wouldn’t trust my own shadow.
After I got home and took a nap to pull myself back together, my clothes soaked and my hair all dandruffy from having scratched my head near to scabs, the admin wrote to me via mail, saying:  “…we will fly you into Luton and put you in a hotel for the night, which we will prepay for you and then instead of public transport, your Operations Manager, Kevin, will pick you up from the hotel and drive you to the ship on the 10th April.”
Dunno about you, but that made me feel awfully posh. I always wanted to be flown somewhere due to my photographic ambition… Some day someone will come pick me up with a helicopter, you’ll see :P

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A very rare occurrence – that I have absolutely nothing to do - today. There were two projects up in the air, one for a stop-motion video and a solar-collector mechanics sketch. The later was commissioned by people who also employ a guy I know from before and it was the most predictable thing in the world that he would try to discredit me. He was one of those low people. I sent two sketches and there was no answer for a while, then that they are no good. When I did a sketch exactly as they proposed, no input of my own, they said the mechanics of it are all wrong. I considered replying that not only is it based upon their suggestion but also only a sketch, a vector sketch  – easily modified – but naa. That is over now. I am done with that stuff now. Hopefully for good. Or at least a good while.
The stop-motion video seems to be going alright, only few modifications, but I haven’t received any detailed instructions yet since morning, so for the first time in a really long time, I am sitting at home, with absolutely nothing to do. No rush. No sense of dread. No feeling that I should be making money so that we could buy food at the end of the month. Even the horror over having to see a dentist tomorrow somehow feels like a distant threat. I’m watching a movie. Reading a book. Playing WoW. Cooking a little. Every once in a while I check a little bit of the travel plans. But mostly I am unbelievably calm. Like I had my eyes and ears closed in a room full of screaming people. Like I’ve been asleep in a whirlwind nightmare for a decade and now I’ve finally woken up and it’s a really nice morning. Fresh air. Somewhere only a little bit of traffic and a bird singing. Someone turning the pages of an old book.
Part of that is also the weather and the fact(or) they’ve switched the time again, making it still twilight at eight in the evening. I have missed a promise of summer so dearly. It’s possible that if I get this work, I won’t be back until December, winter again.
I watched an animated movie called Beast and Boy – Bakemono no Ko yesterday, and it was a lovely movie, but above that I loved the garden of one of the prince’s houses – a yard full of bamboo trees. I imagined myself sitting on the deck, looking at a sea of green of the like. I would probably be inspired to write a poem, albeit not a very good one. It would probably go something like this:

There is a sea of trees before me
Behind each a question lurking
Their leaves are words of the answer
But I cannot reach to arrange them
Into the proper form.
There is a sea of whispers/secrets/riddles* before me.

*haven't decided yet

Monday, 28 March 2016

General's line of the week

G: »What happened to the two euros I told you to bring back from the store?”
Me: “Uh, I gave it to a nice old lady that asked me for it.”
G:” Yes? And what did she give you in return? A popcake?”

Friday, 18 March 2016

On peeing myself (again) and relativity of time vs. place

There is just no way for me not to pee myself when I am asked to give a sample. None. No matter how I stand, where I aim, how big the cup, how big the bathroom, I will somehow inevitably end up walking out with wet pants. At least a little. It is one of those facts of life, stable and predictable. Practically a family trait.
         This is the third bump on the road towards the ship called Braemar. I received the certificate on the dull lack of criminal history in the mail. I went to get another Yellow Fever vaccine, but they informed me not only is mine still good for another year, but also the WHO is about to announce that if you got it once, you're good for, well, good. So that was the second bump. 
          The third - medical exam - is what I am in the middle of at this moment. I'm awaiting results. As far as the doctor mentioned, I couldn’t be healthier. I'm in Zagreb, which is only a little further away from my home town as our own capital if you're taking the train, but it feels like another planet. We don't have trams in my country, not a single one, and I think trams are cool. It takes a little bit of getting used to, crossing the road, so as not to get hit by a small train every time, but I really like them. Swooshy, silent little things. The infrastructure of this country is a little bit behind - buildings are large, old and poorly maintained. They seemed to be going for grandness a lot. Very keen on their monarchs. Proud lot. Doggie poop doesn't always get picked up, though. Smoking is allowed in cafes. Pretty much everyone is really nice. Although I speak Croatian just fine, I feel like I am a 1000 miles away from home. It's also a lot bigger than I expected. I have no memories tied to Zagreb, because I've only been here once and that was still in elementary school. Kinda wish I didn't pack bananas for lunch, as I now don't feel like eating them and the whole purse smells like them. Yes, you read that right. Purse. I didn't bring my photo Crumpler backpack. I miss it awfully, but am being protective of the camera. Dragging around a purse feels really pretentious... Or pretending. I packed too many things. If you carry them in a purse, poorly packed things can be heavy.
          At least the weather is perfect and the radio stations are all playing last year's summer hits, which feels homey.
           I haven't seen the General - nor does the cell phone work through this network - in six hours, but because I can't call him or text or communicate in any way unless I find a strong enough wifi to text him through FB, it feels a lot longer. There is a limb off me missing if I can't text him every time I walk through a door. ('Now I did the eye exam.' 'I nailed it.' 'Now I'm waiting for the nurse to fill out my forms.' 'Now I had to take off my clothes and I got touched all over. Am still very ticklish. But it was weird.' 'Now I am looking for the X-ray clinic. Got lost in the same building twice.' 'Now I am walking back alongside a tram, carrying a vial of blood and a big photo of the inside of my chest.'....)
          Time is running very slowly. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Regarding the bumpy road, yesterday sucked donkey balls, but today is an improvement, heaps.  Sometimes I feel like the Fates smoke a huge joint and just chill before serving me another hand. Yesterday I got stuck dealing with the Seaman’s book. Namely – the doctor that I scheduled to have my medical exam at is okay for the agency that’s hiring me, but, yep, you guessed it, not the government. He simply isn’t costly and fussy enough. Instead of driving for an hour, paying one tenth of a monthly pay and getting my results the same day, then drive back, I would be forced to drive thrice for five hours one way, pay a quarter of a monthly pay PLUS a pregnancy test, plus CT of my chest, PLUS blood tests, PLUS psych evaluation, and then pay an additional 50 bucks for the fucking booklet. And of course no doctor that would perform this is registered to perform the Bahamas medical exam…
I was going to stab somebody or maybe strangle someone with the telephone cord. A woman in the nautical ministry spoke to me like I was asking to use her home toilet – saying things like ‘what do you want?’ or ‘that is not my problem’ or ‘can’t you use Internet – it’s all written there’… No, lady, sorry, I was asking you very specific things that are NOT written down on your web site. And you’re at the info desk.
Ultimately, the last person before I gave up on the world was a doctor’s nurse and she was amazingly polite and helpful and wrote down everything I need to get for the exam at their office and stuff I can get at home, to save some travel money. She was kind. As a human should be.
Today was better, though. The agency allowed me to skip the Seaman’s book and sacrifice St. Petersburg as a result, and so that problem will be solved some other day, when I find a way to not waste 400 € for five pages of paper and the gruesome fucks that work at the ministry on the taxpayer’s dime doing fucking nothing. We have ONE boat, for dick’s sakes. ONE fucking boat. And they’re leeching off sailors that need to go work abroad to have a life at sea.
Dad called to say we were supposed to go uphill to fix the picket fence and he already made lunch. This is his way of saying he misses me in advance and hopes to see me as oftentimes as possible before I take off. So, performing miracle, G and I demolished the decrepit wooden arrangement and set up a new frame, using nails, old screws and plastic tight-bands. As many of the old elements as we could use we nailed back onto the frame. The point of t is to look moderately appealing, but mostly to keep the dogs in. In both of these I think we succeeded. And it was raining the whole while.
G’s off to work now and I’m wrapping up the tasks I’m still tied to before my adventure starts. It seems like time is standing still and there’s a brand new chapter just around the corner. My plans are to cut off ties from the people I know completely (not closest friends and family, obviously, just random internet and town acquaintances) and make new friends, new acquaintances, new rivals and mentors. I’ve made a list of four things that I care to achieve – financially – until the end of this first tour, and two things regarding my person , personality or just the whirlwind that is me in the nutshell. As if to encourage me, the weather’s been as bleak as a dry, grey drab midwinter can be. You know – as all great adventures are supposed to start: in a remote, backbeat little village far away from an ocean, beaten by mountain winds and too small stars, where our heroine has had her holdall packed since 2004 and nobody but her true love will know what she’s really up to when suddenly she leaves and the village will be poorer for it :D