Saturday, 24 September 2016

As closures go: perfect day

This was the coolest closure to an adventure one could hope for. The past few days I've been psyching myself out, worried about the boxes of books I've left behind – had they been thrown away?, will I have to face SLSB to get to them?, will any of my old friends come to say hi?, will DOo show up at all ?…
Well, this is how it all went down:
At 3:30 G and I set for Koper and the drive was lovely, pass the misty swamps and high hills and into the bay area, where we navigated through the sleeping old streets to get to a cape between the country’s only industrial port and a quaint tiny marina. It was six when we arrived, still dark, and we offed for coffee and to pee while we awaited daybreak, watching nigh fishermen return.

Gem coming in, picking up the pilot
At around seven, we paid for the parking spot ‘till noon and took the binoculars to the pier to find the Gem – which was coming very slowly, very lengthily from Venice. We watched as the ship picked up the pilot and revolved, then backed into the only available pier for cruise ships. We followed it and watched the mooring workers tie the ship to quay. It was great, listening to them work, understanding exactly what they’re complaining about :D
Chasing the surnise

G watching the pilots drag the freighter while we wait..

DOo was on the ship-driving-balcony often and had surely seen us, as we were mostly alone on the vast pier, and in my head he was going to ignore me entirely, but he didn’t. He waved at me and I waved back. A couple of minutes later he came out to the bridge balcony with a large palm-shaped cardboard cut-out, which is usually used for festivities, namely waving to children should an assembly of on-lookers come to the port to greet the ship. He waved that at me again. The captain came out and probably asked him what the fuck he’s doing, then they looked at me, the captain shook his head and walked back in. Oh, yeah. He remembers the red-haired photographer.
About an hour later, nine-ish, they managed to set the mooring and the gangway and although he supervised it, nothing much occurred. G and I waited behind the perimeter fence, watched freighters being loaded and some of the passengers disembark to go on excursions. Suddenly somebody grabbed me from behind and I yelped FUCK ME!?, at DOo, who was laughing behind my back, quite pink in the face, having sneaked up on me, said: ‘No, I rather didn’t…’ The General and him shook hands and we hugged and DOo asked keenly what our plans were. I said I’ll wait for him for sure, if he would like to have coffee, and we’ll watch the drill until it’s finished, no worries.
The exercise took until around eleven, by which time G and I were joined by two of the musicians from the ship. We moved to a city wall to watch the drill from above. We could see how DOo looked around to find us from the bridge balcony, and would not stop looking until he saw me waving from the wall.

watching the drill from the city wall
 When the drill was finished and my shippie shoppie buddy told me she’s getting the boxes from the lab now, I went down and DOo was already at the perimeter gate, in civilian clothing, with one of my boxes. He gave it to G who took it to the car and went in to get the other one, which was heavier. Once he came out with the other box, he said that he truly hopes there is nothing in here that would put him in prison for ten years. I said of course not, only stolen books, though if I had known he will be the one to carry them – and of course the security never dared stop him – I would make a better effort to be an international drug smuggler.
The box was too heavy, so Tom and the others, who joined us half a minute later, having previously waved at us from the drill assembly, put it on a skate-board until the General came back again. We walked to the café I knew, DOo and I talking and the rest of our company, some five or six more people, following, talking about Venice.
We sat down and spent about two hours chatting, drinking. I sat on a bench between G and DOo, mostly talking to DOo. G said I am awfully condescending to him, even rude, and upon introspection later, I supposed that this is an attitude that’s developed between us over time, not from the start. I suppose we always spoke to one another in a deeply condescending, patronising tone, calling one another bad things, telling each other what to do and how to do it.
Because he’s never been out with company and most of the rest were people half our age, he did feel a little bit of fish-out-of-water, but then again so were G and I. Most of these people have never met DOo and would not engage with an officer of such a rank. Nobody ever spoke to him, ever. The guys had a good time on their own, comparing notes, occasionally engaging in the conversation if I was talking. Tom came into a dialogue when I handed DOo a memory stick with movies and TV shows I thought might make days go faster, agreeing with my selection.
This went on for a while. DOo left to go check out the marina and the sailboats in it and later the gang left to go test-drive the rentable riksha-bikes. DOo came back and we walked a little, talking about whether he should do something about SLSB, who now seemed to be in the practice of picking on the new videographer girl. I said I don’t know if it’s worth the bother, but if he wants, sure, he can face him and make sure SLSB stays down. In truth Hotel Managers change so quickly, everyone just puts the obligation on the next one and nothing ever gets solved. I did nearly piss myself when the photo girl, my heir, said SLSB told her, on the first day: “Don’t touch my computer, don’t touch my bed….”
Well, first of all, it isn’t his computer, it’s the agency’s and everyone was supposed to be able to use and handle every piece of equipment, so that should occasion arise, we would all be able to help one another… As for the ‘stay away from my bed’ bit … Ye, I can’t even begin to explain to you that one. It’s like a guy like this – telling a woman like this – to not chase him and they won’t be having any problems…

Sigh. Well, my shippie shoppie then showed up and DOo had to return to the ship. I hugged and kissed him and said goodbye. G and I returned to the car to get some picnic food and water, then sat by the sea in the park and talked about the day. It was a good day and these were really nice people. G finally began to understand what a good group can do for your morale, if they see you’re down and they choose to help you. There was a bit of an instance when I managed to spill some ice-cream down my shirt, which would have been incredibly embarrassing in any other group – but here I just said: “It was well deliberate - I only do this so as to draw attention to my breasts..”
Really. Fucking awesome closure of a day.