Monday, 16 May 2016

Fourth round: Maiden Mystery cruise, part 2

Sitno >>211<<
Times told taking someone's photo will break the camera: 8
Times SLSB yelled at me yesterday: once, because I went on an excursion that brought me half an hour late to the gallery (because you need three people selling photos on an empty ship, two hours before everyone returns onboard. Not that I didn't ask permission beforehand. Not that it mattered.)
Times I wanted to cry or hit somebody, or both: almost none, actually. Almost.
Food not eaten: two kinds of chocolate cake, strawberry pie, chocolate rice pudding. And lunch.

The excursion took us aroung Nyburg or somesuch, Newcastle.. Mote-enclosed center small enough to blink and miss it and I was on the afternoon bus, which drove through some interesting locations that make Danes proud. Say up to a place called Valdemar Slot - the Danish... Denmarkian ... Dane version of a summer princess palace. No, really, though it was built for some king's second son, it now belongs to some girl who divorced some other king and is remarried to the son or grandson of Ian Flemming. So the place isn't being used, which in my oppinion is criminal. Why have a beautiful home and not use it? Fucking sell it. Make it into a school. Make it into a national library. Burn it. Don't have a house that's cold. I did like the story about the original prince, though - he was such a loser that when his dad gave him silver to go woe some hot Russian honey, he got turned down, his ass kicked and his silver stolen. They still bicker about it till this day.

The Danes have a humble sense of royal real estate - though impossibly pricey, everything is very small and very neat. This castle consists of the main building, stables and a garden house/glass pavillion type deal, where you can go to the tiny beach from, or listen to a string quartet. It was mostly empty and for tourists. But for the name, it was very cute. Very stuff of Cinderella legens and the like. The name, of course, is too important for me to throw around lightly. The name belongs to the dead. ... It just occured to me. I always assumed Valdemart was Norwegian or Swedish, because that's what I always assumed the Norse men to be. He was probably in fact a Dane. 
Hold. Tove Janssen IS Sweddish, though, no? Or Finnish? Fuck. My brain's geography compartment cache is getting full.
... Oi! But! Met a lady who does Geocaching!! :D So cool! We totally compared notes. 
We drove by a beautiful lakeside house, where once upon a time a pretty girl lived, whom some royal dick fell for and chased. Her mum wouldn't have any of it, though, so when he swam the lake and climbed the wall to her room, it was actually some other hottie he knocked up. Legend says he then paid the girl the baby's weight in gold... So... Two and a half kilos? Yay. Generous. 
These stories always confuse me. First, how do you not know whom you're bonning? Was she waiting on the bed on all fours and a bag over her head and he just parked it? Or... How does that work? Second, did the replacement have any say in any of it? And lastly, people sure used to get pregnant very easily those days. Five minutes of conversation and bam. Stork brings gold. 

We drove pass a church where two starcrossed lovers were burried, and by starcrossed I mean some diva soldier dude with a wife and two kids back home, porked a circus ballerina and whole drama ensued. They tried the elopeing strategy, but that didn't work, so they decided to go full Goethe on one another. Got a picnic basket and a pistol, had picnic first. There were some inconsistencies regarding the bodies found, such as a mess made of the picnic blanket and her clothes, which I would like to think was a result of lovemaking, but rumor has it she tried to back out and he murdered her. Anyhoo, dumb story short, nobody wanted to bury them, but in the end they were forgiven, the widdow came with the kids to say she holds no grudges. That's nice of her. I'd burn the fucking church to the ground.

The third almost stop, more of a drive-by, was a hotel where H.C. Andersen liked to eat and sleep. He was a poor illiterate shoemaker's son and his mother was so hungry and cold she began to drink to feel less so, until that was all she did and did no more, but the kid could sing and dance and write and wanted to work in the Royal Theater. Those were the days when you just walked up to the gate and declared yourself the best thing ever and they took you in. But supposedly the director liked him and arranged for his tuition (though he was 8 grades behind everyone else and miserable for it) and he had charm enough to get sponsors. They taught him German, because an ugly saying applied to those times: you speak Danish to your dog and German to your friends...
Well, the kid grew up, had some bitter love affairs, wrote some incredibly depressing fairy tales and went into legend. Not my fave. Died childless, toothless and old and his money went for schooling of poor kids. Or something. They're building the expensive museum now, milking the legend while it's still worth something.
... And me personally, I am in dire need of reading me some Moomins. 

Got back, got yelled at, then shot British night. DOo showed up beforehand, to chat. I asked if he ever goes out not dressed like a dictator. I sent him an Instagram request. Aww, and he can play ukulele. That is so cute. I've been in love with the idea of learning to play that since I saw how Penelope in Criminal Minds did it. The guitar is too precious for me to try. When in Stranger than Fiction the lead character picks up a guitar and plays the one song he knows, he is so talented he instantly gets the girl and you can see why. But ukulele, something I will always associate with Iz singing Somewhere over the Rainbow... That is really nice thing to know how to play in a random lifetime. That and speak Spanish and Farsi.
Afterwards, after my shift was done, I went to my cabin and dyed my hair, and cut it a little. It's deep red mohogany, very cool. I'll need to get some shampoo and conditioner (and sun block) to wash it again, as I am still spotty from the paint. Hope we got to Germany next, I need a DrogerieMarket.

Sitno >>210<<

Been here a month. Seven to go.
Times told will break camera: 9
Times broke diet: had a croissont, biscuit and apple for lunch, and ice-cream later
Times been yelled at: haven't been to work yet.

Yup, we're in Germany. Shot gangway in the morning, then went out. The light kept changing, so it could be sticky. We'll see. Ran into the magician and we walked around the town until I stopped for wifi. We found the biggest church I have ever seen in my life - or the one most vast, as it was completely empty and... Well, that is how you enclose space. And I've been to pretty big fucking mosques in Egypt. It was bigger than any temple I've been to, any underground sewer system. Just massive. It almost kind of makes you dizzy looking up. Reverse fear of hights. An ant syndrom! :)))

Bought cheap ice-cream in Burger King (Gods, that place is like an even cheaper version of McDonald's. Ugh. Not like.) and skyped the General. It is hard to talk to him. I have to struggle not to cry, I just want to stare at his face. That should make my whole day, but it sinks me off the mountains and into the dark waters and I always feel torn afterwards. 
But managed to get my blog back, phew. That would have just made me want to kill myself, if suddenly I was cut off from my blog. I mean, come ON. How much of the literate cellibacy do you wish upon me, Internet?!
Will go back soon, alive and sunburnt. The magician left me a fedora, which belongs to one of the hosts. I like it. So not my style :D
At home everything is the same. Rockstar has a new haircut and a new girlfriend and I seem to have a new resto druid called the Hybernator. That's what happens if you leave a teenager with your Warceaft account. They inform me Jon Sow was brought back by Melissandre. So, there's that. Out here it's just me, exploring, adoring, taking in the culture that is so similar to home it's almost scary and yet so different I am looking forward to seeing which maiden port of call we discover next. I saw a million jellyfish today, by the ship. No idea how that creature functions. It's more like a tiny happy ghost - but a happy ghost of what? 

Sitno >>209<<

It's two in the morning, I'm drinking in the bar (the virginPinaKoladas, everyone else is not quite so virgin) and the rest of the entertainment gang is either dancing to some weird eighties music that's been stuck in a loop, or drinking some more. We've been though early eighties' greatest hits, some philosophy and post-show mood. The comedian had his show today and it was funny enough to pee myself. Punters loved him, because he often referred to old British pop like somgs and TV, old enough for these people to feel related. But I loved some other jokes as well, even if they were about cheating or discimination. Like when after a man stabs his wife's lover fifty times (and the man was also his best mate), the wife says: ye better settle down, you, if you carry on like this you won,t have any mates left...
Or, when a police officer says who stops him on the road ('Nature's most effective laxative.'): ..'Everything you say will be recorded and read ina court of law.'
'Please don't hit me again, officer.'
Or, twenty minutes in: ... 'I don't really know what to do next, I've never been allowed to be on stage this long before....'
... "Carry me up the stairs and make love to me!"
"Choose one or the other, give us a chance!"
"You like the food here, ye, it's great? Bit weird, though, to come on as passangers and leave as cargo, tho..."
Every night she flet old age creeping up on her. Well, an old man. 
He sang and played the piano truly well. Some people just have that, that universal communicative side. The: keep the crowd up side.
He is another one hiding on ships after the divorce. I like him, I will well upon him. But life seems to get in the way of people's serenity.
Aw, man. Straight men dancing after four pints... I mean together. Handsome boys drunk happy and coordinativelly challenged... Trying to replay scenes from Dirty Dancing and ... Well, I can't explain it.  But they are having fun. And since we're officially closed, we can do whatever we like. Except sit at the same table, for some reason. I wanna look into that - why can't we sit together even after hours? No matter. We improvise. But it's so funny I am laughing my knickers off (or I would if I wore any, too lazy to have them washed). The liveliest host and the magician are tearing up the stage, now performing the choreographies of Thriller, KungFu fighting (ties turned to bandanas), Jump jump... The rest of us are RoFLing... I can't help thinking if DOo was here, he would acheive the Heisenberg effect - I would want him to be here, to have fun, to chillax and laugh, but I doubt people would dare behave like this with a senior officer in the room. (The only one worse is Hotz, the Hotel Manager, but he would never be able to enjoy himself anyway). It's the rub, innit? Full onset of Heisenberg.

One of the boys from the band asked me to explain how I can be so lonely when I am sorrounded by fun people. I said that being alone or in company is a biological thing and being in fun company makes me extremely happy. As does travelling and photographing. But the darkness inside me, the void in shape of G, means my soul is not connected to this reality. It's stuck in another reality, at home, where The General is and my bathtub is and my shops and shoes, Tinka's food and there is never any money, but is always an enormous amount of being seen as a person. This is a ship sailing fast through a cold night. It feels like being inside the belly of a great black blind whale. 

Today was a long day. I can't sleep, so I wander, and write. SLSB hasn't shouted at me all day. I thus far found him to have two redeeming qualities: he says 'Excuse me' when leaving the dining table, and when he DOES go out as a human, he has a tiny pocket camera. Aww. 
Was long, though, today, and it still lasts. I ate at a midnight Asian buffet - an occasional special treat for the crew, compliments of the chef. We grabbed the food in the crew mess and ate it in the officers' dinning room, and it was already midnight, so technically it's already my off day... Now it's three and although this giant iron casket is sleeping, three in the night is a surreal time.. The young band lad has decided he is going to giggle at every tile on the ceiling (there are very, very many). One of the drunk passengers is determined to swim across the marble fojer on their way to the room. The crew talent - cooks, cleaners and the like, are in the theater, rehearsing Makarena. A woman in the uppermost deck, in the Observatory, is reading a goth YA novel, knitting and passing the time, as 'himself', as she calls her husband, is suffering a cold and keeps sniffing and sneezing in the bed ... Some solitary soul is texting somewhere, some security is checking us out, some cleaners are polishing the railings or desinfecting the handles... The ship humms, it's freezing outside and the lights I can see through the windows are mostly other ships, with a rare distant lighthouse. Going north, northwest. Not enough stars to see where exactly we are. Not enough ambition to find out, either. All of these ports so far have been okay. And I learned of a new concept I ought to google when I get the chance: hanseatic. After some Hans. By the sound of it, it is something one should know about.

Too bored to sleep, I got up at eight. I look like Hell, but my hair is nice. We're back to Denmark. A little dissapointing, since I thought there will be more countries and for a moment I even though it has to do with the spot of "engine trouble" we had yesterday (usually a code for something else, though when I mentioned this to DOo over diner, he said: oh, please.), but all of that is silly, of course. Denmark is awesome, this town looks awesome, the weather is sublime, people are in a good mood and I know it's going to be a wonderful day ... I just dislike the fact I can't buy anything here. I have a handful of krone, probably not even enough for a postcard. 
Can it be? Is it possible I've arrived at the point where every day is good except for one or two a month and ship life is fun? 
* Somewhere on another plane of consciousness two Gods, Hermes and Triton, collapse from exaustion: Yes! Thank you! We've been working our assess of to make this impossibly beautiful and fun!! Did you notice the amazing sunsets every evening? The thorough lack of rain in Denmark? The warm wind and the parties? Finally you get it.!

A host girl told me to stop counting the days. I've lost count, to be honest. Thirtyone days? A month. And today is an off day. I ate all I could for breakfast, with butter on top, drank a gallon of grapefruit juice (and coffee, so maybe I'll finally be able to use the bathroom properly, it's been ages.) My hair looks hot, my smile looks hot, my dancing looks hot. I no longer feel like the fat old newbie. The ship has gotten very small to walk around. I am waiting for the nights to get warmer, so I can sit outside at night. Not that I've managed to find the bridge yet. It elludes me. I walked around the upper decks, where the uppermost officers live (no idea what they look like on the inside, but I hear from the guests that they are pretty sweet suites.) Exept for the Chief Security Officer, he has to sleep downstairs with us. I wonder why. What's so commonplace about security? Shouldn't he also be as close to the bridge as possible? I suppose there is something sacred about the bridge and I would be afraid to knock on the door and say: can I just spend an hour or five sitting here, looking out over the dashboard with binoculars?
I'm sitting in the posh dining room on the sixt floor, writing. Nobody's told me off yet. People around me are talking about either how upset they were when there was traffic in the towns they went to, or how supriced the drivers stop for pedestrians (well. Yes. You are not supposed to hit them.) or how nice they are to the 'servants' or how tiresome it is to go to a new port every day - cause, you know, you gotsta explore it, otherwise you have nothing to talk about over dinner. I know it's tiresome. I should get a nap later, if I am not to die standing in the gallery for seven hours. But drill first and exploration later. I have two voids in my heart, the burning empty black cavern the shape of G and another one, the shape of a map and a camera. The other is slowly being filled :D

The drill was CodeOscar first - man overboard, but I didn't run up in time to see how fast they put the boat down, I just saw them throw a doll around and practice collecting it. We just stood in the designated muster station and Ay! when our numbers were being called out. SLSB was telling a girl beside us how awful and stupid some guests are, to make her laugh. He told me off for having my phone visible in a public area. Then we move to the designated LifeBoat and stand around some more, wearing the big old LifeJackets, answering some safety questions. The Host sang his answers and we all danced a little. Then the signal comes and we're free to go. I think I will go eat some more. And yes, I've been to the bathroom thrice. Grapefruit and coffee do the trick.

Food eaten today:
Spicy noodles with veggies and chicken
Rice and corn flan
Vanilla pudding
Dough dumpling with honey.
Three small croissants
A small apple pastry
A muffin
A chocolate pastry
Three small butters
Lunch #1:
...forgot, but it was yummy, if brief
Also had coconut egg something
Piece of cake that wasn't very good, too dry
Chocolate roll slice
... Grabbed a small glass of something ricey, hadn't eaten it yet
Hot apple pie
Lemon tart
Something passion fruit, not that good
Crunchy apple pastry with cheese
Late dinner:
French fries
A meat ball
Coconut flan
Apple pastry with cheese

Okay. I might have overdone it.

Sitno >>208<<

Again, the best part of the day was it's end. Although some fun stuff occured beforehand, some pleasant stuff (and fucking lots of food), when that bell sounds the end of shift (SLSB's voice), my brain is OUTTA there. It's half naked before that as it is, telling itself dirty stories or scenarios in which I would be required to move this ship on my own... I will learn if that can be done. I see videos of people doing it, DOo docks it all the time. And we have a batallion of meckanics to maintain the engine. But can one person start it and move it? Will ask and will report.
Was gonna have the last gangway duty tomorrow - later today - but I was told by SLSB I have to go urgently to one of the excursions. They need an escort. There will be a boat and lunch involved. I tried SO hard to look crushed and bothered. Are you freaking kidding me?? An excursion?? To a UNESCO site?! NoooooooooOOOOOoooo!! Gods, no, anything but that!
:D That just made my whole day. :D Didn't even have to buy the three obligatory chocolates. Ran downstairs, changed some of the clothes, grabbed the iPad and the camera on 50mm lens, ran up six stories, knocked on DOos door to drag him to have drinks with us, no answer, ran back down and then walked between Coral club, where the band was playing and my mates were, to Neptune Lounge, where some cabaret number was being served, and the pianist was. In between was a guitarist singer guy, who told me to pick the next song and when I picked Life On Mars, he sang it for me, so I sat down and listened to that. I grabbed the pianist and the comedian and went upstairs to eat the last meal of the day. Later we returned to the Coral bar to listen to the band and watched people dance. I took some pickies of my friends, some moody dim light late night bar scenes. Made myself leave at one, knowing I will need at least half of my brain to pretend in the morning that it had some sleep. Met one of the band members and had a nice chat as well. We talked about travels and Cardiff and Torchwood. 
Oh, and the best part of the day - when I went to Fredericia, a small waterfront town with ramparts, I walked into a bookstore and found tiny cards with tine envelopes of MOOMIN!!... Moomin! It was ten danish kronen. Though I only had nine, the three shopkeeper ladies said it's not at all a problem. They asked if I was from the big ship. I said Moomin is as close as I come with religious images. I put a hole in the card and hid it between my ID and evacuation cards to wear around my neck. Fucking Moomin. Hugging a birch tree. Honestly, I wouldn't be able to feel better if I wore something like St.Nicholas's little image, the patron saint of seamen, merchants, hitchhikers and thieves.
Yes, please.

Sitno >>207<<

Been a long, shitty day.
There are some seriously evil people on this ship. Some Hannah Arendt level of evil. There is something damaged in their hearts. I would call them snakes, but snakes seem pure and gentle by comparisson.
I get so angry, I could breat the world. But I can't. I have it in me to break all the coffee cups on this ship. I have it on me to break the ship in half. I want to kill, I want to die. But I can't.
There is a good man out there somewhere, who would get very sad if he knew this.
So I can't.
I feel like I'm sinking. Like I'm in a grave. I can't breathe. 
I want to break the sun in half. Though it's already bleeding. I can tell you why the dark waters taste like dying.

It just sucks, this day. There are some seriously messed up people on this ship. It started well, I liked the excursion, loved the pictograms and the fishing villages and the salad and the pizza bread and the coconut biscuit and the thoughts and the photos and the colour of my skin and lips without makeup. 
Of course all good comes with an ugly price. With being reported for behaving badly. (1) For drinking. (2) For fraternizing with wrong people. (3) For sitting down in the wrong rooms. (4) For wearing the wrong clothes. (5) For working not enough hours. (6) For taking not enough photos. (7) For using the elevator when I am told to use it. (8) For sleeping too much and going out, off ship to much. (9)  For not standing in the gallery enough. (10) All these things I do wrong. And there will be consequences. My final warning.

1 - No fucking clue.
2 - Not alcohol, literally just putting liquid in my face at a bar.
3 - The comedian and other hosts.
4 - To listen to the singer guitarist play
5 - Eleven per day is just slacking. Changes will be made.
6 - Never mind SLSB LITERALLY pulls the camera from my hands when guests come. I am not allowed to shoot.
7 - He will order me in, then say I am breaking the rule and will be fired from the ship if caught
8 - Two excursion per months? Two out of fourty? Am I crazy?
9 - I have to stand more. I am not standing enough. i have not sold enough. I am the reason we are not making targets since I came here.
10 - He will have a meeting with hotel manager tomorrow to see what to do with me. 

There is a limit to how much longer I can be treated like a dog. I could really use a friend tonight. But there's only me. And no fucking way G can ever know about this.