Saturday, December 19, 2009

first days part 2

The next day was my first day of work as the ship got underway. For the next three days I was constantly reminded of the old cartoon showing goofy as a sailor. The only part I remember was the scene where he was trying to walk across the main deck to dump out two pails of water as the deck was moving. I remember that his face, shoulders, and arms stayed at the same spot on screen while the deck tilted all over the screen and his legs moved with the deck. At one point the deck showed at the top of the screen so his feet were twisted over his head, but the water barely spilled. As much as my ship didn’t tilt over my head, I learned that walking in a straight line like one can on land is not possible on a moving ship. It’s disorienting at first, but my body adapted, I just had a continuous headache for a few days. Since then I’ve learned that my coworkers and boss are really laid back. As long as we’re at the right place on time and the job gets done correctly on time, I don’t get in trouble. Then again, my job is to be around if my system breaks and it’s best if I’m not visible while waiting. The whole out of sight, out of mind thing is quite true in my job and best for a good relationship with my coworkers. Unfortunately, I have yet to learn that art but it should work nicely for college work and all my various projects. I should be able to get a lot of things done by the time I leave which works well for me. I may have most of my bachelors done before I even get back to the States, possibly have a degree before I become a fulltime student. Cool. J

The next stop on my tour was Malaysia. It’s a lovely blend of Chinese, Arabic, and Western cultures in clothes but the road rules are crazy. Apparently tail lights are mere decoration there and not used. The speed is high and the drivers are yet again driving on the wrong side of the road but we all survived. Most places there were wide shoulders on the road that often had cars pulled over to create roadside stands selling any number of things that could fit in a car. Another thing you might see on the highways of Malaysia are the motor bikes. I found it interesting that there was a lane cut off from the rest of the street, similar to our car pool lanes that go over the normal lanes, only these were lanes cordoned off from the rest of the roads and just for motor bikes. Also, it was rather hot those days but the bikers still wore coats. Okay, so they wore them backwards with the full back protecting their front from the wind and the fronts were left open to flap behind and cool the backs. Also, about now I was realizing that the US is quite possibly the only country that drives as we do. Every other country I visited seemed to drive on the opposite side of the roads than us.

While, that’s all for now. Come back soon as I will soon have more on my trip.

first days

Well, it’s been a while but I finally got around to writing about the trip I took in October and November. Sorry this is so late but I think you’ll all enjoy reading this and seeing the pictures. Here goes:

When I arrived at the airport in Narita where I would fly from Japan to Cairns, Australia with two guy friends and was surprised at how many Caucasians were walking about. I wouldn’t have been expecting so many white people at an Asian airport but it was an international airport. When I finally got on the flight, I had a window seat and wound up sleeping most of the trip, as I usually do. Luckily I woke up and my first view of Australia was looking down over clear blue water with the light green coral reefs just barely visible under the water. After we landed and finally got through customs, we got outside into the hot, smoky air of Cairns. The air was tinged with smoke because the there had been bush fires there. I got to the ship and saw my rack and the two small lockers I was given and started to panic. I was really worried that being on a ship would make me too claustrophobic to work. Luckily I realized that once I got to work the next day and wasn’t thinking about the space or roll of the ship. Anyways, a girl that slept kitty-corner to me in the room took me out with two other friends for supper so I can truly say I was in Australia. We wound up eating at a pub, which, to add a side note, is where I often get some really food. Usually one goes to a pub to drink, but I find their food is usually pretty good. Anyways, I had a local fish and we stopped by a convenience store and I picked up some kangaroo jerky, which turned out to be rather chewy. I found a bead store and picked up a pretty heart pendant and it occurred to me how many bead stores are run by hippies or “new age” believers. I find it amusing that apparently the owners of ever bead store I’ve gone into think that necklaces are the modern tussie-mussies: if you want to use stones, you obviously want the necklace to send a message like “get well soon” or “wear this and you’ll get extra strength” or some other special quality. Sorry if you’re one of those people, but I base my ideas on style, color, who will wear it, rarely do I try to send a message with my jewelry. Okay, tangent over, back to Australia. It was so hot there that almost all the natives were wearing wife-beaters or tank tops and short shorts, some were only wearing swimsuit tops instead of shirts. What I found gorgeous was that there was a lovely lagoon, man-made but still lovely. It was a pool the shape of a peanut with water nearly ankle deep that ended in a walkway that the ocean waves lapped against. It was a lovely view and a lovely pool for the kids to play in that sat in the middle of the city of Cairns. After a few pictures by the lagoon and what little beach there was, we headed across the street to the Night Market where they sold everything from trinkets to fake tattoos to expensive opal jewelry local food. My group all got ten minute massages for twenty bucks, about, in a stand obviously set up there nightly and well visited. Unfortunately, by then it was getting late so we all headed back to the ship for a good sleep, or as good a one as a person can get on those springs lightly wrapped in cloth they call mattresses.

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Just thought i'd let you all know what's going on. i wrote out nearly a page and a half for my blog, but i wrote it on Word and aparently i can't copy and paste from something else to here so i'll probably need to rewrite it all. sorry but i'll try to get this up to date as soon as possible.