Monday, 11 April 2016

First round (From 244 - 239)

Sitno >> 244<<

I am seasick at the moment, so this doesn't seem like it was a too good idea, but earlier, when I was walking pass a window and saw an ocean foaming and forgot where I was, I felt awesome. I've taken a pill and ate a salad, so we'll see if my sea legs kick me in my spoiled rear anytime soon. When you're tired and still have a lot of work, you miss everything and everybody. I miss everything and everybody. But I weight 40 pounds too much and I haven't been abroad in an eon. That much about that.

Sitno >>243 <<

I'd say I wash my eyes every night and every morning (by this I mean I cry like a little bitch), but in truth I'm too tired and in the mornings too happy to bother. Also, it's only been one day. I try not to think about G too much, that gets me upset and I want to say fuck this shit, return the oversized uniform and swim home, so I look at the 85 pencilled on my wrist or I look outside and see the smoggy sun rising above the port of Amsterdam and I think rather: this isn't half bad. This is in fact kind of whoa!. The ship purrs like a fat old cat, vibrating and humming and it's soothing. I got blistery and weary yesterday, though the sea was as calm as glass, but the pill made me sleepy and I thought I'll keel over by the time we closed at ten. (It was eleven by my watch.) Am not used to such working conditions, so until I get some stamina and stop wasting half of my day getting lost in mazy coridors, I won't try to make any rash decisions :D

Realised everyone's gone off ship to visit Amsterdam and that I have a day off for Amsterdam as well... Okay. That surprised me a little. I will need to learn ahead of places we're visiting, so that I don't repeat this mistake. This blinking village idiot persona suits me, but it's getting in my way of adventure.

So far, as I've found a wifi in a McD, I can confirm that there are a lot of bicycles, tulips, pot, waffles and tourists in Amsterdam. I need to find out if tomorrow I'm free as well, at least in the morning, and go visit a proper museum or gallery... Or a zoo. Or a garden. 

I'll need to get a grip on how to do these things like a pro. Getting off a ship that's gotten me this far and not knowing where to go is a bit noob. Bad Paper.

Okay! So. One of them harsh photography lessons learned: never, and I mean ever, leave the house without your prime. Flash, maybe, but never the 50mil. On my way back to the ship, I ran into a tour manager and asked if he has any tours ongoing, that I have nothing to do. He said he can get me into one and it seemed people were actually okay with me being there, some even posed. It was a channel boat ride, with nice cheese (which give tummy ache if eaten too generously), three bottles of wine per table (and a bottle of water for me, thank you) and nibble food, most of which I pretended to nibble, but was actually ravenous. Yes, I know everyone says be weary of what you consume in the late hours, you'll get fat, but I'm still awake three hours later, so be it. The sightseeing trip took us around the cannels and if I had a difficult time deciding which museum to see tomorrow, time permitting, I am now completely bummed for knowing. Both big ones cost 17 bucks, which is A LOT, but there are also several smaller ones, equally appealing as seeing Van Gogh live, so to say. There's the science museum and the photography and film and the city library, which looks awesome, and the ones I don't know what they are, because my map is in Dutch..

While we rode around the channels, we passed several city curiosities - the leaning houses with corrupt foundation, poor Anne's museum, countless ancient bridges, posh houses where important people live, houses which are wide about ten feet in the front, but more in the back, a massive elongated place which used to be the first retirement home, originally for the widows of seamen and maritime employees - as they were so many... Amsterdam was a rich, aloof port and they were always on a lookout for a new business venture. Money-savvy, too. The guide pointed out the channel edges and explained that nefore the railing was installed into the channel streets, ten cars per month would have to be pulled out of the water, so insurance decided it's cheaper to invest in the rail. He also told us about the ugly Opera and the handsome church towers which can be seen particularly nicely from various vantage points on chanel crossings. He told us how deep the water was, but I didn't hear him right, and how then there is a thick layer of bicycles and then the swampy sediment. We saw a copy of an old ship, countless ship homes and any number of little curiosities, which I've already forgotten. I will go to sleep now, one of the rarest people who will choose to do so, and contemplate on my predicament. Most of the crew who didn't go out to party is in the port, using the free wifi all night. I have no idea what my schedule is tomorrow and if I have work, then my predicament will be checked off. I took some nice city photos, but the ones of the people on the tour, with a f4.0 zoomer lens? I doubt it. We'll see. Certainly couldn't do any nice night shots until I exited the port building with a tripod, but even then I only took some pictures of the building and the ship and the city skyline. Was too tired to return to town. Okay. Will sleep now. Lesson learned. 

Sitno >>242<<

Yup, the predicament whether I will run to Rijskmuseum or Van Gogh and back has been decided for me - I have crewmen training at 10:30 and that is not enough time for me to really see anything. Unless they postpone it again last minute, like they did yesterday, in which case I will bite somebody. Nobody gets between me and my Van Gogh.

Had to run out a bit, to try and get some video footage; then back to try and Skype the General, which didn't work, but we talked, so not all electronics conspire against me :p Of course not matter how much we talk, I feel like I've been away for months and I still miss him too much to dare and put his picture above my bunk. Still get lumpy in the throat. Back home everything felt so very urgent, so that when here a day passes without communication, I feel like maybe the world has ended.

But let me talk about the things that I really like about this ship. (Always helps to concentrate on the positive.) I love, for example, the large doors that say 'crew only', because once you step through those, bye bye cushy floors and padded stairs, glass railings, heavy embroided curtains and gentle elevator music, still-standing gentle hosts and hostesses and soft spoken waiters, practically bowing... No, once you go through the big doors, that's where it gets down to business. You enter a world of narrown iron passages, steep iron stairs, dozens of loud workers rushing about in any endless narrow corridor, speaking in languages I cannot understand (yet), machines going off, alarms going off, cleaning crew fighting to be let through, officers managing the lot and always something being done or carried or repaired or welted. There is thumping, there is vibrating, there is heavy and fast sound of people hurring on iron floors... Any which way you get lost you will find something backstage-y: the tiny tailor's room or the giant veggies storages or someone zapping something back... Walking out again, suddenly there is nobody, just the calm and quiet and elegant luxury with a touch of extra security measures...

For some reason I get to eat in the officer's small mess, not with the cleaners and seamen; dunno why :/ But our food is excellent and this isn't even the only buffet we can use. The captain sits with us, no big deal. I didn't even know who the important people are until later. The handsomest largest men are oviously Slavs. Not that it makes any difference. I met an English knight among the guests yesterday and genuinely struggled to appear impressed. However! We had three different cakes for lunch today - three! I could exist off eating cake alone!! But I only ever eat lettuce and a little bit of cooked ham or chicken. Only drink water. Never touch a carb or sweet. This isn't just because I'm morbidly obese, (I'm not, I'm just regular fat) but also because putting heavy food in my tank will make me sick again. I make an effort to drink enough orange juice for breakfast, or coffee, to go to the potty. My digestion's been awesome lately. Don't wanna fuss it up. What's the rule? Seven times to pee and one for the big business? Thereabouts. 
When I am awfully hungry, I continue to nibble on drobTinka's granola, which she packed for me before I left - banana and apple. Good Gods that shit's tasty :D Even with all the excellent food here, it's still supreme in taste. The world has nothing on My old home's cuisine. 

I was thinking, first about my uniform, which is oversized now and will only get bigger once I wear it out... If you are skinny, they have ten different sizes for you, but if you are fat, they just give you something huge and it looks awful on you anyway... And about pretty girls and ugly girls. If one is a pretty girl, young and skinny, people are nervous talking to them. There's always an element of attraction, regardless how unwanted. But if you're an ugly girl, old and fat, then people will talk to you easily. About anything. Nothing is flirtation, you can ask any question you like. And that's cool, because I like to learn new things and I like talking to people. I would love to drive this ship, too, just the once, so we'll see if I can talk my way into it... :D

Sitno >>241<<

Yesterday afternoon the stars aligned in all the bad moments and I cried for the better part of the afternoon. Was gonna cry hysterically as soon as I found a quiet place, but by the time we stopped working, I was so tired and my feet hurt so much, I just passed out. I do wake up sometimes with dried tears around my eyes. I'll just blame the windy weather for giving me a cold. 
I know I shouldn't react to these things, which are so different from home. Yes, I know that when someone insults my camera it's not the end of the world. Yes, I know that when some condescending person who's never even met me a day before treats me like I was a retard, he's just got a lot on his mind. I know I shouldn't take everything so personally. Yes, I know that when they pretend their way of doing things is THE ONLY legitimate way and nothing I've ever done counts as photography, we're just in a hurry. Yes, I know I've spent too much of my past in a perfect safe bubble where the General trained me to never ever tolerate being fucked with. But he fought my battles. And yes, I may be getting my period and yesterday was a hard working day. Too many blisters on my feet. Still. It hurt, how I was talked to. It's hard, this work, hard on dignity - you have to impose on guests WHILE they eat so as to take their photographs and some can be pretty shitty to you, you feel like a beggar who gains nothing by begging but insults. I also know that even though they say No, thank you, they always come to check out the gallery wall in the morning, just in case.

And of course the kicker of the entire awful day was talking to a lady, who wouldn't have her photo taken, because she's just lost her husband and this would be her first cruise without him and to not have him in a picture would just break her heart. I thought I was gonna lose it right then and there. I know these people are fairly old and I am yet to have the lives as nice as busy as they have, but the thought of losing G is a deep wide ocean of heartbreak too bad for me to bear. 

We'll see what today brings.

... (4pm)
Fine, fine, so I had half a waffle. Would you like to see a list of things that I HAVEN'T eaten? Mm?It was only because I found myself in the middle of Antwerp with three hours to kill and in pleasant company, and it hit me: I'm in freaking Belgium! That is so cool - I can phone the General and chirp: Guess where I am! Belgium! ..The weather was gray and my emotions are still struggling to put more on the happy pile than there is on the miserable, and I bought some chocolates for my shipmates. Nothing about the chocolate or the waffle that would make me want to abandon my allegiance to Lucifer's or fucking Dobnik's, though the lot of it did cheer me up. Having only three hours to burn is a bit of a torture - you can only see so much and have one chillaxing drink. I also only just now realized that I should probably buy stamps when I buy the postcards, because we're in a different country every day and it feels a bit rude to post Belgish... Belgiumish ... Belgian stamps on Dutch cards. 

I miss G. I keep having this awful feeling that he's just about to round the corner and I'll be in his arms in a moment and he'll push me away (no public immodesty!) and I'll bite him in the tummy... I keep looking down the streets to see him, or around the ship to ask if anyone knows where he is. It's the damndest feeling. Though waffles would help. It's his birthday tomorrow. So far I have as many reasons to go as I have to stay: I am miserable, I miss G too much and I hate what we're doing VS I love to be on a ship, I love to visit the towns (albeit far too briefly) and I love the adventure. Everything weights on the triviality of money I'll make. I've marked it at 250. Give or take 30. That'll be my litmus test. 

Today was okay, it ended a lot better than it started... I truly enjoy spending time with some of the people here. At the very end I had a virgin Pina Colada with a pair of friendly ladies, which dragged into a minute after midnight, so technically this is already a good start of
Sitno >> 240 <<

Am declaring thursdays officially 'days off' my super strict diet, because thursdays are my favorite days and today is G's birthday. And he's practically St.George's Thor. (St.George being his home town, known for tough folk, and Thursday being Thor's day an'all..) The chef was also feeling generous and put out a waffle buffet witch ice cream and all kinds of toppings. I had to try it, even though it wasn't as good as the half I had in Antwerp. It was an easy day in the gallery. Tomorrow is the end of this cruise and a pity, too, as I have only just now got to recognize the people and now they will leave for good. They were almost all really nice people. We're giving them one more semi formal and dining room shoot today... I'm secretly wearing Dr.Martin's, so it should be easier :P

As it is an off day of food, I also had a schmensy salad in one of the guests' restaurants, finishing it with a minute chocolate and passion fruit cakes and a small piece of blueberry pie. In one week's time, when the time comes again, I have pre-selected the chocolates from the chocolate bar which I will treat myself to. Other than that my clothes don't seem to be any less tight. Eh, well.

We did some last photos, which were better than the first by far, I think, and of the lot that probably won't be sold, I will go after one of an elderly gentelman, a Normandy D-day veteran. It is the closest I've ever gotten to our old little Vinnie Rommel. Cool, in fact, to be speaking with someone who helped bring down the infamous marschal's career. The tiny Nazi might have carried around a posh stick, but this little old fella is still here, on a big white cruise ship and a medal of courage chatting with a nice girl with a big camera.

In the end they may all blend together, I suppose, after 20 or so cruises, but I think I will remember several of them for good. The lady that starts to sing Niiiinaaa from Argentiiiinaaaa every time she sees me, and the pair of another veterans - him a firefighter brigade and she a parametic... And a family of plump people, with plump and happiest children you'll ever see. The boy was a little bit of getting used to, but once I got there, I can't get enough of him. So much positive energy in such a lovely family. Wish I fucking knew them on Facebook.
Kudos to me for having abandoned Facebook.
Was gonna write a long letter to G again, but got sidetracked by a puzzles box and tried fitting the pieces until I couldn't see properly anymore. There was upposed to be some posh food bar at midnight, which I oddly don't care for anymore... It would have been great to go on a trip tomorrow, alas, we have a drill smack in the middle of my free time. Supposedly we've hit target earnings, whatever that means. We'll see. We are said to be having two more lean cruises and then one that's supposed to be good. We'll make the decision what the fuck have I gotten myself into the, four cruises in. Litmus test will tell. We had a sale, a last day thing it seems, on the ship today... Many nice, cheap things. Tooooooo tempty. Do I reaaaaaaally need a wrist watch? i do need it, but do I reeeeeaaaaaally really need it? Though the thing I need the most is an external disk. Not dick. Disk. To put things in slots.. Not sluts. Ah, fuck it. 

Sitno >>239<<

Another flawless morning, perfect weather, a nice long chat with G. Had a long shower, played some PvZ, looking down from the ship onto a magical medieval town of Honfleur. We have a fire drill now; will hike to it a wee later. Once I get my first pay, I'll buy some stamps. I even managed to squeeze myself into a size 16 shirt, which cheered me up. May drop a size every month, if I stick to my strict regime and if Thursdays are far apart enough :D I saw the photos from last night, you can hardly still tell whose are which. Am fantasizing about having a small bike or a skiro. For now I'll just write a little bit. I may have the first line for 'Dread' - "Alright, let me try to explain how this isn't entirely my fault."

The drill was announced as a drill several times, which was good, because if you didn't know this was a drill, it would be kind of scary. Then we had an Infestation-prevention and Managment class and then lunch. Not the best order. Is there a limit on how many times you are allowed to wash your hands?  Now I'll run into Honfleur and see if I can find a WiFi.

Found WiFi. Worst coffee ever, costing 4 euro, but I found it. Normandy is never a simple uptake. :p


Tina said...

Miss you brave friend :)

"sitno" :D you've made me laugh :)))


Sanela said...

Great you are in the right place for great adventures :) :) :) see ya :)