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Monday 5 May 2014

Valencia, Cartegena, Malaga, Day At Sea


Valencia, Cartegena, Malaga, Day At Sea

Tonight, there will be a masked ball. It will be, Unlike the stately Masquerades of old, held in the grubby smoke filled crew bar, where loud repetitive pop music will drown almost all conversation. Unfortunately, with my crew card blocked as I can't pay my bar bill, I have to deal with this environment sober, unless one of the passengers of crew makes a gesture of unprompted generosity. Still, I'll dance my legs down to the knee if L is in the bar.

Tonight, L will not be in the bar. Still, rationally, I can't spend my every waking moment with L, and maybe tonight will be a good opportunity to, if not pull than at least to catch up with my friends I’ve somewhat abandoned in this last week.

Valencia was pretty dull. L didn't want to go out in the cold, as it was fairly nippy that day, so I left her to Skype her devoted boyfriend while I spent an hour exploring the dirty port end of the town. I found a mask for the ball, and some 'Adventure Time' crisps. The rest of the day I spent just chatting with her.

The next day in Cartegena I became extremely miserable. The ship left port at 15.00 and I managed 20 minutes in the port through oversleeping. That day, the cabin got smaller and smaller until L knocked on my door to say hi in between shifts. This is when I started to clock the fact that I had a problem. Having only a few friends on the boat I'd been quite content to take as much time to myself as possible, reading, writing and listening to music. Now with L and her lush conversation I’m starting to resent the time I’m spending alone. I really, really needed a days grace from this ridiculous routine. I said goodbye to an amazing set of passengers today. But then I said hello to L and my head set straight again.

Malaga. More and more this city becomes a breath of fresh air. The day was spent rambling with L. Exploring, climbing, laughing and joking through the rich and colourful hillside gardens up to the castle. On the way up some horrid guy picked my pocket of 20 Euros. By this point I didn't care though, I was too relieved to be out in the sunshine. I simply stripped off my shoes and socks, rolled up my jeans and walking into a fountain, smiling splashing and loving the city.

We walked back along the beach to the ship, and took in the fun. I taught her tongue twisters, and she taught me basic Russian and Latvian. I’m getting better – My Latvian includes 'Sveki', hello and 'Atah', bye. My Russian consists of 'Breviate' hello, and 'Spokonay Noiche' goodnight, although that's probably nowhere near the right spelling. L and another are the ony two Latvians on the ship, but shared with the Ukrainian is a common language of Russian, which I believes shares a lot with Ukrainian. So Russian is more practical to know, but proper Ukrainian will curry favour from the waitresses. I went back out later, just to soak up as much fresh air as possible, and changed in the nick of time for passenger drill. Tying peoples life-jackets up has gone from being terrifying to kind of theraputic.

I’m always nervous with a new set of passengers, but I one these guys over by the end of the night.

Now day at sea, I’ve read a chunk of Bleak house and might have some food. At least I got change to sleep!

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