Tuesday, 21 June 2016

8.1 Norse cruise, part 1

Sitno >>174<<

Turnaround in Southampton. Trust the English to decorate an embarcation TENT with dozens of crystal-plastic baroque chandeliers and plastic 'gold' chairs with red mock plush. Holy fucking cow.

No chance of going to town, as we'll start early, right between the dock loading-cranes and porta potties :D I had a long shower and breakfast and will go around the ship to see if anyone left behind any books. The ship is on Code Red, so all of it is being fumigated. So, water for Code Green stage, gel for Yellow and smoke for Red? I imagine the next stage is a flame thrower? Spoke to my babe, his voice and words the most solid thing I posess on this Earth, making everything else feel like a stubborn illusion. With lots of English weather in it. In some other realm I am so in love it's scary, and what can I do about it? Write more postcards? Eat more ice-cream with his name on my lips during? Mention him to more people, show them more of his photos? No. There is no cure. Only amputating the ship off me would help. Unfortunatelly, this shit is far too fun to give up on now, while we're on a roll. :P

Explored the place while it was being washed over and got myself some more pills from the Med.center. Asked how they were, which was a stupid question, considering the med staff are knee deep in shit and people died, but they at least think that's included in the price of working on a five star cruiser. The shop is selling Bryson, thank ye Gods almighty!!!, but they locked down the library from public use. :,(( Will try to change the Pratchett for Bryson, because managed to take the same Pratchett out just before the locks came on. Found three crime books of unknown worth lying around. Kept running into DOo, who was supervising repairs around the ship while our dear captain slept, and we chased one another around the coridors a bit, at times quite literally running and laughing, then he told me go do something, anything, as long as it isn't stealing books. 
Easy for him to say. I start work in ten minutes, at ten thirty, and no guest will set foot to the ship until two, so that's nigh four hours of having to pretend to enjoy being in SLSB's mighty shadow, pacing around in circles, waiting for life to go by... At least he never says a word to me, so I count my blessings.

*note to self: ...it will make a great deal of sense to make Dread torn between two realities. Also, I ate a cookie and a large piece of chocolate. Just putting it out there. Since I tell myself to stop ingesting sugar fifty times a day. With Britvic tonic on top. 


Today was perhaps the best day to date, as I reckon the days around here should be, but 

HOLY FUCKING BLOODY MOTHER OF FUCKS am I tired.... O.o ... I didn't think a person could be this tired. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow, unless tomorrow is like today. Seriously, I just gotta pass the fuck out. This is now a slave ship more than ever! SLSB is driving us like nuts. Aw, man, my poor feet!!....

...Did I mention I got two kilos of caramel chocolates from the shoppies manager? My fridge is absolutely packed with chocolate. There is no way I can eat all of this :D I would say I don't think I even like chocolate very much anymore, because it makes me thirsty, but then surely the Gods would strike me down...

Sitno >>173<<

Neup. Too fucking tired today also. Ironically: Life = good. <3

Sitno >>172<<

"...shipboatwhatever... Though I do know the difference between a ship and a boat. Do you? Apparently, the boat is what you get to when there is something wrong with the ship."
Beverly the Diva

Okay, so. Sorry for the lag. Last two days... The Turnaround day is over and the First Formal/second day is kinda almost over, except they postponed it until today. That's that. Cruising ... Some magically beautiful fjord today, fantastically oxygenated green water, rocks as high as miles, just calling out for a basejumping dare, weather bleak and pompous, easy does it.
I will suck someone's cock to be alowed to go see the glacier they are going to see tomorrow. May be the General's cock some other day, though, because seeing a glacier is not exactly SEEING a glacier. Knowwaddamean? I wanna do it proper, Greenland-like. I wanna SEE, CLIMB, TOUCH, SMELL, HEAR AND TASTE and crawl it. I will have to do that on my own terms, me thinks. So I stopped stressing about being allowed on excursions on this fucking ship. Two and a half hours of standing outside toilets, squirting people's hands for desinfection, every day ON MY OWN TIME. That is the reality of my condition. The rest of the elements are ELSEwhere. 

Wanted to say again, though, the Turnaround in Southampton was like the coolest workday I've had so far on this can I guess working far too much for human norms really turns me on. First we did absolutely nothing for three hours. SLSB decided 10:30 will be a good time to start photographing embarcation, so we literally STOOD ready from 10:30 until 13:30, when he decided may be a good time for a 20 min lunch break... Thank the Gods of my unyeilding appetite I murdered a Flapjack beforehand, while waiting for the gangways to be switched, because the moment my lips touched the coffee (drink coffee DURING lunch, lesson learnt in a hurry), the embarcation was announced and we ran down back to our posts.
I realise I drink too much coffee. I realise that when some day I return to the Real world, the level of mental and physical detox required would best be handled on Shutter Island.
Thing is, the people working in the docks really love to fuck with us and continue to relocate us to ever less favorable locations and threaten to have us removed altogether, as if we were some kind of fucking criminals or paupers. As if we had no right to be there. At some point, when pax were coming in and posed nicely, a woman came to say we only have 15 minutes left to shoot everything, otherwise we'll miss the tide..... 
What fucking tide? There were still 700 people in the waiting rooms OUTSIDE. We were the least of the bottlenecking stops the pax had. But no, it was us she threatened. 
Although we were suppose to shoot 200 pics pf couples and singles, switch cards and print them, FPP, who was the one shooting this time, shot 400 on one card, 600 on the other card and 300 on the last one. She got told off for it, but. But the last card crashed and would not show any shots at all. SLSB, who if this happened to me probably WOULD get me fired in a moment, if not murdered, just cursed for an hour, pale and miserable - because our rollcount otherwise was record. Maaaany first timers, which is what you want on a cruise indeed - managed to salvage some with a salvage program. We printed SOOOO many pics, Gods. And labeled so many of them. Good thing I love labeling.
Sometime during that, the curtain flew open and, quite startled, as if he just discovered a room he's never seen before, DOo blinked in, holding a walkie talkie (It was pax drill time.) and said: ”Ah, so this is where you hide in your lair!... Uh, it's hot."... And walked away again. 
Yes. Because in two months he didn't know where the photo lab is on this ship. It's, like, smack in the middle of the ship in front of the biggest restaurant and we set the studios up in front of it twice a week. 
Anyhoo, his adorableness aside, once the labeling was almost done and putting them up in tris began, I had to abandon all of it and stand outside a toilet from 6pm to 7:30. I had to make sure anyone coming out of the restroom sanitized their hands. You can imagine the level of dignity required to do this with a smile. All but one of the pax were more than willing; only one refused and claimed he washed his hands. I tried to explain washing means cleaning them, but sanitizing means killing the virus... He was rude. Who cares. The main chef came by and asked what am I doing. I said I am guarding the restroom. He asked where is my gun. I lifted the gel bottle and said: I am the germ killer. He said: I hope you are not the Germans killer! 
:D (He's German. But he's cool. He will tell you where all the best strip clubs in Hamburg are :D)

After, my feet already so tired I cramped like hell (is it true you're supposed to eat bananas to get the potassium against cramping? Hm...) I ran to help FPP in the gallery and we sold as best we possibly could to some pretty fucking retarded people, or some nice people who were really tired, or some tired people who were really drunk. I think we made excellent money, even though towards the end of the day SLSB was so worn out he was his good old miserable, nasty self. Back to snapping at me, like in the good old days before-abuse-report. I tried to get some food in the Buffet, but it had to be served to you by the Indian waiters, and you can imagine how much they gave me. Oh, how they loooove to waste my time, knowing I only have ten monutes to eat. How it pleases them to see me tired and hungry and upset... Five leaves of lettuce, three grain of rice, one whole noodle and five red beans from the salad... I asked for my coffee to be made one third coffee and one third milk and one third cold water and the aloof fucking dickhead refused because he said he doesn't know what a third means. It was true, too. 
After 'diner' I ran down again. The shoppie manager told me he left us some chocolate, which turned out to be two bags of caramel chocolates, nearing expiration dates. That's two kilos of chocolate. On top of the kilo of Toblerone I already have and a bunch of previous gains of party flavour variety. Blimey! And supposedly there is my countrywoman on-board for the week. I would be excited, but I know my countrymen abroad and they tend to be kinds of shit. Something about a village mentality going out to see the world and thinking they got the God by the balls...

Well, that turned out to be correct.

Tiiiired, I sent the one text to my baby and then I don't remember much else. :D
In the morning they extended my toilet duty to two and a half hours. At least I get to chat with some nice couples and watch geriatrics play carpet bowling to the beat of a bored-to-death host. I am beginning to worry that after I get home, I will have such acute PTSD, the General will have to come looking for me standing outside of the local retirement home, screaming at people to SMILE! and CLOSE TOGETHER, FOR NICE PICTURE!.... I worry about this, because the first time we did the month long winter fair, after it was done and we all nearly died from exposure there, I had a terrible urge to sit outside of the DM, in the street, for days ... O.o

I slept after gallery duty from one to three and then worked until ten. It was a busy gallery in intervals I am used to by now. DOo came by, cheerful, couple of times. Maybe he finally got laid? Ah, wishful thinking :P I know he bought the spanish guitar he wanted to treat himself to. Either way, he was cool. I think I would have left this shitty deal a long time ago if it wasn't for his moral/mental support. I got paid what little I got paid, though I said if I get more than 280, I'll spend some to get G the annerversary present, which in this case was a bottle of Sauvage by Dior, a perfume I really like on him. Fuck I miss his skin. Fuck fuck fuck.

Last, at half past ten, went to see a show by Beverly something, The Diva of Music and Laughter. She turned out to be freaking awesome. I knew she was kinda cool from having had her embark photo taken in a fun way. Usually she's this chubby, large, dark-dressing odd kind of an individual. On stage she wore the brightest red gown of glitter and sequins and feathers, which made her look like a fire red turkey. She plays a 300 year old violin, too. 

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen... Lemme tell you a little about myself, so you'll fully comprehend the presence of whom you have the privilege to be this evening... As a diva, I asked what I can expect on the ship. May I bring my entorage of 27 people? No? You don't have 29 royal suits? You may notice now a small ship following us at a discreete distance. Will they pick me up at the airport? Depends on what I'll be wearing. Can they help me with my bags? They don't think there is a plastic surgeon on board the shipboatwhatever... "
What may she expect on her pilow? A chocolate. Not the captain? No, but the captain would like to invite her to diver. She doesn't dine with the hired help. Will she get a jacuzzi in her suite? No, but the manager will give her a long and extensive tour of the engine room.
She suffered for her tremendous success as such is always the case, in her personal life... She had ten husbands, three of which were her own. All she burried, two while they were still napping. One died suddenly falling into a deep wishing well - she didn't know they worked. The second misteriously died of poisonous mushrooms. The third died of a fractured skull... For not wanting to eat the mushrooms. But like all extremely large women, she is always chased around by very small, more politically correctly - vertically challenged men. One chased her while she was having a prestigious dinner with a sheik and his immediate family of 380 closest relatives. He finally came near, yelling at her and she got up and looked down over her large chest at him, demanding to know what he wants. He declared to the entire golden restaurant, that he would like to have sexual relations with her! "Well, if you do - and if I ever find out!!..."
Promiscous humor. Always works.
She said that in Africa, they call Chardash music 'charred ass'.
She asked one of the ladies in the audience what her name was and when the lady said:”Barbara."
"That's correct."
She's on two diets, because one doesn't have enough food in it...
When they heard she was embarking, all Six members of our orchestra hid, but she found them because she needed all of them to get her in this dress she's wearing. Which one she will keep to take her out again she hasn't decided. But she has her eye on Oggie - this really cute, very young piano player, who shot her a terrified look across the stage when she said it. :D
She introduced them in bulk so we could save the applause for her. She also had trouble tunning her strings, especially her g string. And mentioned she doesn't use much make up these days, more like embalming oil :D
Anyway, that was an hour of laughter and good violin playing.

Today it was darker. Today I almost gave up on this whole fucking boat thing, because the weather was shit, my mood was shit and my standing outside of the toilet was shit and every time SLSB went on and on how little money we'll be making, I didn't want to waste another day away from my lover. We work SO much, for SUCH a long time, never able to have rest, never able to see our families other than through fucked up wifi, and then they insult us always, mistreat us always and in the end even the money is bad. This is a weird world to be in. Every time you do something pleasant  someone is there to reprimand you, or interrupt you or find a way to ruin it for you, so you start feeling embarassed for being happy..
I didn't want this anymore. But I sent him some texts and he sent me some texts and I had some coffee and a cookie and the sun came out over the pompous fjord... I studied my itinerary for autumn. I think I know when I'll abandon this peculiar fruitcake of a vessel. It just isn't going to be today. In fact Hermes doesn't want me to leave, he's being very good to me: the sea today was the most beautiful I've ever seen. It was like a romantic painting: the waves were high and many, small and tempestrous, and when such a small feisty wave crests, you catch a glimps of blazing emerals rim through the foamy crown, while the hot wind blows off it the salty mist, same as the wind dances sand on the edges of dunes in the Sahara or snow atop of the dangerous jewel mountains.
So I shake it off and stay another little while longer. 
But here's another bad poem, just to make sure you understand how close I got:
(And I promise to stop using the words 'sea','ocean','deep','dark','lonelyness' and 'gray' from now on entirely.)

This loneliness can not be described by human words or measure
It may hardly be described by a dark, cold and endless sky
Though I hide myself into a palm in which I can hear the sea
And ropes and sails of a small boat,
I cannot breathe for how much I miss my house and the green around it.
The voice of my father. The smell of my street. The skin of my lover.
The lenght of my stride however I see it fit. 

Sitno >>171<<

Spoke to my baby for almost two hours, falling in and out of the wifi connection in this tiny shed which is also the only thing in the dock, besides a hotel and a kayaking deck, sorrounded by massive steep stone fjord walls and a LOT and I mean A LOT of clouds :D It was good gangway today, even though it rained :D As per instructed in the beginning of this, he told me to stay out my contract like a professional. I told him I will like it here less after DOo leaves. Which will happen in four days. I admited I burnt through the other half of my second Veto card hugging and kissing DOo's cheek good-bye today. The General said: if it was just a kiss on the cheek and a hug, it wouldn't be worth the Veto card. He mentioned that if I don't behave, he will scatter my ashes all across the Velebit. :D
Fuck, how he cheers me up. But after I zip up the iPad and get from the chair, here I am, returning to the boat again, and having to deal with my own issues. Not my strongest suit, right? 

So ye, DOo is leaving in four days. I've been here for 71. Long fucking time, actually, considering. It doesn't seem like I'll ever manage to print the photo of him I wanted, and the frame I wanted to buy SLSB won't sell me. It'll have to wait until I get home some day. I kissed him goodbye today. I wanted to when I had the chance, because I likely won't have the chance in the coming days, knowing this damn boat. The man has a phone AND a pager AND a walkie, so imagine how often it lasts five seconds before he has to answer one of them. I went to the cabin at his nap time, aware that was the likeliest time nobody will be calling him to solve anything. He hates it, but I like that hour and it won't happen again anyway :) Maybe once or twice, max :P
I kissed his hand and his face and his chest, because those were the things about him that I appretiated the most - the hands and the wit and the humor. I didn't really kiss him with my lips as much as I used my own cheeks, eyelashes and my own hands. It wasn't dirty or weird, or anything like a wife kissing a man. It was the way I kiss people. 
Like the story characters that they are.

I told him that I am aware, oh, many ladies like the Chief, if most for the money, some for the charm and one for the calmness he is in this odd hysterical stage I am stuck on ... That if I'd met him ten years ago, when my soul was still dark, he would have been in more trouble. All those other dumb bitches wouldn't stand a chance. I wouldn't share him with anyone. 
Not even the sea. 
He chuckled, muttering, I wouldn't be able to keep him from the sea. 
I muttered I didn't say I would keep him from the sea.
In the end, when we hugged, I laughed, saying he hugs me as if I was a child. He laughed I AM a child.

...I liked that. I liked that he somehow always knew preserving my innocence and my joy for life was important, even if he didn't know the word for it. Ships swallow many good people, turning them into old, miserable shells of men. I appretiate he protected me, even if he won't admit he made an effort. He was a really cool lost soul to know. And made ME a better seafarer. Like a lady pax said the other days: No, I could see there is more to you than meets the eye..

Well, yes, madam. Looks like I am the one who will bitchslap Callipso the next time I see her.