Wednesday, 29 June 2016

9.1 - German waterways, again - pt.1

Oh, are you fucking kidding me? Tom left, too?? Hermes!!!? Bad Hermes! No cookie!

Sitno >>165<<

Okay, so, to be totally forthcoming, by the end of the turnaround five people leaving hugged and kissed me goodbye, told me they loved me and to take care and I told them I loved them, too, and I'll be seeing them soon (though probably never). So I may not be quite as faithfull a wife as I claim, though still. Pretty faithfull. Nobody's seen me naked or anything, except those eleven thousand people on the beach... The General is not too happy with me, I think. Last time we talked he was shaving with his gurkha knife. 
But ye, Turnaround in Southampton; though no chandelier tent this time. Aww. Couldn't sleep, so watched English alternative to dawn and it was actually sunny for a change, for about a minute. Wrote a story about The Sun and The Cloud, a romance. Better yet, as nobody's got time for that, wrote a lazy poem. It's about a young hot sun just going about his adventures and an older, large lady of clouds, who tries to catch him every evening with her various gowns and veils and drags him to bed.
Went to mess and am writing you, my dear blog, my adorably indescrete and not at all secret journal, until a civilised enough time to get into human clothing and off to the famous shopping mall of Southampton, to see if there is anything there I will consider after we return from Germany. Anything other than the ludacrisly overpriced Pandora bracelets. I'm gonna go check if I can buy the cheap maritime themed knock-offs in the shop next door.
What time does it open, I wonder?

Mess is a good time to hide from inspectors, since it's usually the first place they check and then leave it alone for the duratipn of their stay. What are the odds I, walking around in improper clothing (meaning anything that isn't the uniform) walk straight into an inspector? Plenty. Odds of me walking into them while THEY's walking in tandem with Hotz is even bigger. Poor Larry, our dining officer's mess waiter, who came in late today, was so tired from living up to the norms, burnt hus hand, cut his lip, fussed best as he could, and then managed to serve the wrong eggs, they were all completely raw. The doctor, a little grumpier and thiner after the gastrovirus episode, sat behind DOo and the two talked about the 'inspection of inspector's ears' - who after an undisclosed event could not hear on one ear and the one he was bleeding from, he could hear on a little...
... Well, I know we passed... Is that why we passed? Did we kill the poor inspector??...
I hope not. He wasn't a bad guy. 
Most people on the ship seemed to be cheerful. Tom came to hug and kiss me again. The grumpy too strict Safety Officer declared him leaving a great loss for Assembly Station C. Later the Safety Officer guy got his breakfast, dropped his plate noisily in front of me, sat opposite of me and we talked, through we usually argue. He talks to me like he can't answer a question, he can only dissagree with me. The refrigeration guy came and snarled, asking, provocatively, if I am going to cry after the Chief. I replied, calmly, that actually yes. I probably might. He swore at me and ate somewhere else. Tom's roommate, usually a distant and frowning man, when I asked if he is going to miss Tom, said that no, of course not, he's happy Tom's leaving. Then he opened the door to his cabin (we're on the same floor), saw it half empty and began to scream and collapse against the door frame. "Tom?! Where are you, Tom?! nooooo!!... Come back! TOM!?"
He was still screaming when I stepped over him and threw over my shoulder: "Tom is gone, baby."

But no, of course I'm not gonna cry, at least not today, I'm in too good of a mood. I will allow myself some melancholy, just to keep Bognor fed*. FPP told me the guy who is supposed to replace SLSB quit and won't be coming, so some other option is being hoped for. Poor land manager. I would feel sorry for him, if our wages weren't half of what a normal human makes for half the hours (and weekends off), for contract that only desperate people agree to and even that was BEFORE sterling lost value dramatically. Fucking Crew Accounds refuses to exchange my money. I need to find some other way to wire things home; I can't leave a 100 bucks to Western Union every time... :/

Didn't think I'll see him again, but DOo walked in among the first people, got his food and sat right opposite of me. After breaking enough eggs to learn none is boiled (He was sweet, he said to Larry something like: I do prefer them soft, but maybe just a little harder?), I gave him some final instructions on how to practice the Leaky Submarine on his girlfriend and we joked about the kitchen chef, who was not at all happy today about footbal results. Wasn't happy either, that someone filled in the gaps in the mess board poster ahead of time, favoring the wrong team. We agreed we do not want to fuck with Siggi this morning. DOo laughed I should also choose my words more carefully. I laughed I said much worse back in the day, remembers?, when he was flirting - which is something we cannot do now, when we are friends.
'Why you make such fast conclusions?'
'Oh, fuck you, I told you to kiss me yesterday and you flat out refused.'
'I did not refuse! But there is a saying 'a rooster does not crow when he is told to.''
'Yes, mister old farm wisdom, there is also a saying 'where there is no will there are excuses.''
'You have such strong determination to have the last word.'
He got up, took his plates and offed to do the possition exchange. He turned, just before leaving, laughing: 'YES!'
'Luv ya!'
>Another moment when people in the dining mess stopped talking and tried to pretend they are not listening. DOo walked out, nodding his head, laughing at me, the crazy fury that I was and I laughed at the dirty old bastard that he is (or not at all, when no-one is looking), so brave in the daylight at six in the morning :D

The shopping mall doesn't seem to open until ten, so I will load some Instagram pics to post later. The guest relations manager walked in, just as I was preparing to leave. For a moment we were alone, so I asked about the captain situation. She got upset with me knowing things and stormed out. Naive creature. This fleet seem to favor their captains tall and dark, but not always very bright or even all that particularly decent. I should show her one or two YouTube videos featuring a top deck yacuzzi. But no, she's freaked out as it is. Another one of the nice officers, an old chubby man came to say goodbye, hugged me and kissed my cheek and we exchanged FB handles. I sat in my corner, feeling completely centered. 

Stopped traffic in the quay parking lot to make sure a family of mama duck and baby ducklings made it across safely by ushering them while she quakked at me angrily.
Offed to the shopping mall. Loved the kitchens they had in Ikea. Damn. I could totally do with a dark green kitchen, I see that now. The shopping mall was large, but I didn't have time to look at any of the shops really. I found a spot where thirty seamen from my ship did their usual headphones and cellphones formaviva and joined them to speak to G about what happened, before I post it on the blog. I did feel a little bit guilty. Back home we don't hug and kiss and say 'honey' and 'darling' to people. I'd say: 'Morning, handsome,' to someone I like and they'd say back: 'Morning, beautiful, morning, GORGEOUS.' People have picked up their teeth for less where I am from. The grit of it is I mean it, too, all of it. I DID have feeling for all of them, they were exceptionally kind and friendly lot and I will miss them awfully. Ships are terrifically lonely places. Those few you DO find common GROUND with, tend to reach the heart. Looks like he doesn't want to read you, journal, because he doesn't doubt my constancy and does understand I need to have some stories and secrets of my own and occasionally like some other people beside him. My passion for him could not be smaller, nor does me being fond of DOo chip anything away from the massive granite block that is my awe of the General. I am a human and can have more than one emotion at a time.

The funny thing about the shopping mall: three ladies came to stand beside us at half ten. It was twenty minutes before they realised we are NOT a queue and no, the Apple store isn't selling anything special, it just has good wifi. Now tell me the English don't like to queue. They just saw one and joined us instinctively!

Worked in the gallery and the halls felt fucking stupid. I suffered the same odd sadness that I suffered when I first got here... I kept looking if I will see DOo round a corner. Every time the walkie talkies came to life, I listened if it is going to be his voice and what is he going to say; is it going to be polite or is it going to be funny? The door on the posh deck was just a door I used to know, a room I used to like and know. I could climb the forward stairway without a single knot in my stomach. Every time I stared out of the window into the gray sea, I made sure I am positioned attractively and strategically so that he won't be able to sneak up on me. Dumb things, you know. Insignificant trifles. That made days shorter.

Earlier, after I got dressed in the morning, on my way to West Quey, I walked out to find him leaning on the railing, overlooking the refueling deal thingie. I held him and kissed him on his back and asked how much fuel can we take. "In fact, wait, what happens if we run out of fuel? Do we sink?"
"What? Why would we sink?"
"If a plane runs out of fuel, they're in trouble, you know?"
That expression, right between a facepalm and giving me a face palm. He took my shoulders, started turning me around and pushing me away. "I think you better go now."
"I'll be going now."

And that was that for DOo. Like the song says, I didn't want his future, I didn't need his past, one right moment is all I asked... And several good moments stacked one upon another towards the end. In fact, come to consider it, knowing this man has just had the entirety of dialogue between Paper and Rommel for 'Dread' written for me. 

Sitno >>164<<

Bognor (A name I got because I am just reading the new Bryson and in my language 'bog' means God and 'nor' means crazy) is the demon of my loneliness. It is easier for me to deal with him if he is outside my body, so that is where he is lingering now. Though he is a very friendly and sweet demon and doesn't know what he is, really, or that he is doing anything wrong. He is about ten feet tall, and wide, in fact he would fit nicely in a family swimming pool, and he looks kind of like a very fat, slobbery, witless three-headed dog who is still a pitbull puppy, like Cerberus's fat dumb cousin. He follows me around and waits for me to do things. He fills up large rooms nicely, but has a problem chasing me down narrower corridors of the steerage and doesn't know exactly where to turn in my cabin. He doesn't fit at all too well in the passenger mess, but kind of does in the officer's mess. The photo gallery is his favorite spot, as there the passengers walk through him or step over him, and he rubs his back against the window frames while I look out or the rought edges of the photos that remain on the display wall as they don't get bought. He slobbers all over the place, but comes when I call him to heel and then rolls down the stairs with me. His favorite time is when I am looking outside, though, when I sit with a cup of coffee and stare at the sea. By some odd magic he can fly very well, or at least leap very bouyantly, and he plays just by the ship, sliding down windows or jumping over waves, his grinning drool and flapping tongue mixing with the sea spray. Come, Bognor. Time to shoot the first formal. Come. Put on a dickie bow.

Sitno >>163<<

Did cry yesterday, angry, enough stuff stuck together and Bognor incidentally sat on me and nearly suffocated me. But after the cry and after I stuffed him into the bathroom, the angst passed and I went to bed and woke up better oodles. Will try to send the money home via priority letter; it can't possibly be more than 80 euro. We're still at sea, though, second sea day. The second manager denied his coming here, so now we are stuck and SLSB is getting despondent. He is leaving, for sure, but he couldn't care less about what happens now. Funny thing, too, that even my roomie, FPP, doesn't know exactly when she's going home. We are supposed to be at the mercy of our land managers. No, you can't go home, we haven't found your replacement yet. Haha. Almost funny. Good luck, though.
They could just lend me the Serbian Seascape guy to train me how to operate the printing machine (SLSB would pretend to train me and set me very neatly up to fail) for a week and I can play the manager until they find someone better. I learned all there was to know about ship photography in less than a month. How hard would it be to sit in meetings and beg the thirty year old printing machine to thump on?

I applied to all of the excursions this cruise again, forty or so, and SLSB approved me going on one. Would you care to guess which one? Was it one of the beautiful Bavarian castle museums? Was it a posh winery with magnificent gardens? Was it one of the small medieval towns with picturesque artsy centers? A nighttime ride with a boat through the channels of Hamburg? No. The one to the Concentration camp. 
Not a joke. 
I stuffed Bognor into a tube of Pringles. He's going to sleep there tonight. Moved off days from tuesday noon to wednesday noon. 

Sitno >>162<<

Off to shoot the first gangway, Flensburg the second time around, and then to try and send the anniversary perfume home via priority mail. I asked a few people to come with me as I am not too happy to walk around with money. Ended up asking the refridgeration guy. It was okay. I didn't thnk it was going to be better anyway. Two beers in he was telling me things that make me never ever wish to have a drink with him again, but he's given up trying to hit on me and we mostly just talked about movies and sailboats in the end. Such an odd stereotypical contrast: DOo from the uppermost deck with his maritime law and engineering degrees, Piper pilot licence and a fluffy small dog and beautiful white sailboat at home, and the lower deck refridgeration guy, with all his twoface ... Bullshit. "What happens on a boat, stay on the boat." Hehe, yeah. Whatever you say, dude. Just don't ask me why I would choose one hug from DOo over a thousand fuck invitations from you. I would hitchhike across Europe to have another coffee and talk about old records and cloud types with DOo, whereas you I will do a lot not to have another beer with again... He was right opposite of me and my camera was right here in my bag and yet I could not bring myself to take a photo of him. As if that would somehow be rude towards the camera, something emotionally dirty in the language of lenses and light.

Moving on. I can't be angry at men for being men; after all I knew what I was getting into by asking him to tag along (and the funniest bit - for all his buffalo gym physique, he couldn't keep up with my pace. My feet are tiny. I walk like an ant. Finally he just said he'll sit down to have a drink while I run around..). 
Found a DM, boughts a new hair dye and lipstick pencils and posted the postcads I still had from ... Seville? Norway? Shit. And the tiny package, whch will turn out to be the cheapest way to send money home, or by far the most expensive ever. Ikea kitchen, Hermes. Don't be sleeping now. 

I failed to take a pic of Hermes' statue today. Hope he doesn't screw me over it. Found a nice wifi cafe to chill, eat a piece of pie and have a non-ship coffe, so I'll be posting you, too, bloggie.