Sunday, 12 June 2016

7.2 Spanish cruise, pt 2

Sitno >>181<<

Could not be a better day. After shooting too many gangway shots of individuals running/pushing pass me, I decided to use the perfect sun and a nice old church ruins backdrop to shoot only couples who stopped and posed. Thus I only got 80 or so good, but they were good. 

Then we met for the beach date and a dozen of us offed to the most beautiful silt beach I have ever seen. Google it: Portimao, in Portugal... And there we sunbathed, swam, sunbathed some more, the shoppies, the hosts, the band guys, the dancers who joined us, some of us topless a bit, I went into the water alone and just walked around, playing with the waves, enjoying wearing only my shorts, free as a jellyfish. All heart, no bones. My shoppie shipmate didn't know how to swim; we tried to teach her, but there's always trust to get over first, and fear. I think she is starting to like the Irish host, who then just piggyback-carried her around the waves. 

I can't understand why anyone would ever die in an ocean. The ocean should be a place where nobody could ever die, drown or sink or be eaten. But as long as we continue to kill sea creatures, the ocean will continue to kill us. Fair enough. 

I had to go back sooner, to get to work, hoping I didn't get sunburnt too badly (only a bit of my neck and hair split, ironically). Some of the english refuse to understand what the big deal is about the sun and wake up the next morning pink as pigs. I grabbed a KinderSuprice chocolate egg and a cup of strawberry cheesecake ice-cream for lunch and hurried to shower the salt and sand off me. Portimao is an extraordinarily beautiful resort, tourist city with perfect silt beaches and posh houses, clean water and new hotels, cute and not too busy, at least not now. Excellent sailaway, also.

I spoke to pumpkin later in the eve, after having eaten a good salad and some sugar-free vanilla rice pudding and some popcorn later still... Edited some Instagram pickies, thinking about my life...

I spoke to Drej, typed via Skype, and thought this centrifuge existance on these boats, this is like stepping onto some wild, rogue merry-go-round, where faces and buildings blur together, port towns as different as can be, and you need to step off again to get back to a focused sense of reality, on land, where all towns are made the same, not in command of the crescent bays. I can no longer comprehend the pace of which we go to cities and who the new people are and who's left us already ... You know how sometimes you wake up from a dream, thinking: whoa, best dream ever!... But when you try to write it down, it sounds kind of senseless and stupid?

I wanted to return to the basics so bad today, I not only left the camera (it will resent me, but it was a) hot and b) freaking sandy), but also the rest of my shiny surfaces. Not even my bag. Just a towel, sunblock and a derelict old umbrella for sorta shade. And flippy floppies. DOo paid for talking to me about kissing by getting a toothache and had to go to the dentist. We get to Seville tomorrow, and with a little luck I will get to see flamenco dancers, find a post office and get lost again in a Spanish city...

"Where the fuck are you guys going - why don't we just go to the beach over there?!"
"There is a river in between, moron, how do you think we got here?!"

Sitno >>180<<

My lips taste like sangria ... Ye, my lips taste like sangria ... Nnnnn ...

Okay, so I totally burned through one and a half of my two veto cards for the year. Or maybe both, but I wanna wait till the end of the year to see what happens, to be sure.

First, entirely uneventful morning, we slide through some incredible landscape, the Guada... Something River fields resort. Dunno what they grow there, but it looked fucking awesome. I instantly put it on the list of places I want to hike. 
We docked in Seville, I grabbed lunch and my bag and Tom, host, and I offed to take some pickies of him, as he asked for headshots. We started in a park, but there were mosquitos, so we moved to a maaaaassive palace, super picturesque and if that wasn't cool enough, there was a street performer doing the whole Spanish guitar act thorough our stay there. It got up to 36'C. We offed for a drink and Tom asked if I wanna have sangria and I argued for a little while. But it was said to me that if in Seville, you've gotta do that one. So, on the table comes over a litre of red vine with ice and fruit in it. Which, gotsta say, tasted freaking great. I drank about a third before every host, shoppie and band mate I usually hang around and certainly told I never ever drink came by. There goes that bit of my reputation. And to hammer another nail in my rep's coffin, when I went to watch the flamenco performance, I drank the complimentary sangria, too :D The guys are going out at midnight, which is an option, but I think I'll head out to shoot nightscape and walk a bit, then go to sleep and go out in the morning to try and see some of the city through a lens properly..

Best part of the day was DOo, again. Fuck I'll miss him when he leaves. Two more weeks, I think. I was having coffee in the mess, dinner time just started. The Croatian shipmate, who is all testosterone and no romance and would forget his marriage vows and mine in a blink of an eye if I flirted with him for just a second. (Balkans are like that - they take insults and flirtation VERY SERIOUSLY.) Is why I avoid him politely and never take on his invitation to go out at night. Unlike DOo, who will talk sex with me all the time if we get the opportunity, some of the other shipmates are not to be invited anywhere near that conversation, trust me... 

Anyhoo. More people came in to eat, officers, hosts,.. A cute host girl joined me and we talked about the bridge and how if I was on her evacuation team, I would finally be able to see the damn thing. I whined so loudly that I haven't had the chance to see the bridge that all present were amused, the whole mess. When he was done, sitting with his back to me a few tables away, DOo stood up, wiped his mouth with a napkin, took his plate to clear the table and announced: "Mrs. Garlick, would you love to see the bridge?"
The host girl mouthed: garlick? I said: It's 'cause my name is Arlich - very nice man, chief, but he can't spell too well.
So, excited out of my silly little mind ( =drunk), I hopped behind him whle we made our way through the ship (crew passages, as I was in my civilian clothing and was not allowed in the hotel deck), and then there was the bridge. Loooots of buttons and levers, man. I asked a hundred questions for DOo to interpret the details for me, and most of his explanations concluded with: No, you can't press that. Don't push that. Let go of that lever. Stop turning that button. Stop that. Put your hands in your pockets. 
His two bridge-mates, a deck cadet and some semi senior guy, who were there with us (imagine a cockpit in the middle of a very wast and fairly comfortable living room on top of a skyscraper in the middle of a river.) were ordered to tell him what is the most important thing to coordinate yourself on a bridge is and I, kneeling, while getting my camera from the bag, mocked him: It's a trick question, guys; he's probably referring to the coffee machine or something...
"A fucking photographer knows this and you don't," he nodded at his dissappointing students and then I finally managed to get a photo of him. Which someone suggested I should print and give to him, as it is a good shot. I think so, too, but I know some people hate their own shots, so ... Nah, fuck it, I'll just do that, he can toss overboard it if he likes later on. 

I grabbed a coconut cookie from their buffet, which nearly choked me, and grinned that I am so humbled by this place my hands are shaking. (Also drunk.) He told me I really shouldn't tell him things like that, that I am drunk, that I steal books, because he should report me. I imagine bringing a drunk civilian with a big camera to the bridge is not exactly by the book, either, eh, papi?

So the sweet hour went. I walked around, touched things, photographed things, sat down on things or opened things, looked under things and moved things about. When security officers came and saw my bag they frowned a bit, but when they saw it was me, they all understood and smiled: I must seem like such an amusing, comfortable presence on this ship, the crazy redhaired photographer that calls the chief officer cupcake and the kitchen boys 'sir'...
He showed me all the stations, the radio protocols, the ship's logs, the old maps that are now mostly exhibited for passenger's, but he interpreted the symbols on them for me, and numbers regarding depth under the keel (two fucking meters, no wonder we drove to this dock at glacier pace. A rogue bicycle tossed to the water bed and we'd have a whole new log entry..), other vessels' presence, proximity and types, itc... Awesome, nerdy stuff. :D

Ran down to the busses to go to the flamenco show, but in truth, regardless of the fabulous dancers, my brain was stuck on the bridge balcony, listening to pilot protocols and double hull maintenance and remote fire screen door commands and watertight doors ...
"Also known as instant death," I muttered.
"It takes something like ten seconds for them to close, no?" said the semi-senior officer.
"Yes, because nobody has ever been damaged by a watertight door." Don't try to be smarter than me today, little bro, today I am walking on muddy sangria smelling river water. 

Sitno >>179<<

Good half of the day, but I guess a 37'C Seville will achieve that. I ate a chicken sandwich for breakfast and a piece of orange pie for lunch, bought myself a spotty numberless wristwatch in H&M and a bucketload of postcards, as they were the cheapest I've found so far, 35.- 
Walked around, my hair greasy in parts from the sun lotion (always apply sun block to the split of your hair, unless you own a fedora, then it's okay) and dry and brittle like straw from ship water everywhere else... 
The beauty of Seville cannot be described or photographed; it can only be experienced, and you have to do it in heat, on a weekend, at night if can be. They wash the streets with some lime smelling, minty detergent and mixed with the smell of jasmin and akacia or some Venezuelian violet variety there of. Wrote my postcards in a shadow of a cathedral and flamenco posters, eating nothing but ice-cream again. 

I like myself the way I am today, this unruly, wild thing, too sexy to be ugly and too forgetful to be beautiful, with messy long red hair, blushed sunburnt face with small golden and emerald eyes and large idiotic teeth, this creature with huge breasts and tiny hands holding a hot black glass-full camera, this odd mixure of enthusiasm and darkness, of wunderlust and homesickness, postcards and digitless wristwatch, cheap Pandora knock-off with marine life pendants on it, neon orange headphones and ancient beige capri pants, of improper thoughts and pictures of baby ducks in a royal pond, this wisp of lust and poetry, or wanting to kiss and wanting to steal... Like a sweating caged animal who, if released from the iron, would just explode with everything thought and felt. 


... and then someone went and fucking died during formal diner. :(((( Now we have a ghost on a ship. Un fucking believable O.o