Thursday, 26 February 2009

Day Forty Seven: Still in the Pacific?

It is a long haul from Rabaul to Hong Kong and we seem to be endlessly travelling across parts of the Pacific before we get to the China Sea, it is also a bit of a bumpy ride and I have no doubt that a few weeks back we would have looked at the sea and felt a bit queasy but now we truly have our sea legs and just take the movement in our stride. It was glorious out in the shady side of the deck today, even though the temperature was in the mid 80’s this morning there was a good stiff breeze blowing (the Captain equated this to 40mph) which kept us nice and cool as we lay on our sun beds on the Promenade Deck. We have moved away from the Lido Deck temporarily as it is more open to the sun and they have closed one of the pools (don’t know why) so it tends to be crowded. The advantage of the Lido Deck is that it is close to both the Conservatory and Al Fresco so if cups of tea are required they are easily obtainable. The flip side of this is that food is also readily available so the temptation to overeat is also there and you all know that I do find creamy cakes hard to resist, (along with apple pies, French fries, prawn sandwiches and just about anything that contains calories).
We did go to the Conservatory twice today but we were both very good, I had toast and
Marmalade with grapefruit segments for breakfast and cheese and biscuits for lunch while Hilary had virtually the same but smaller portions of course.

Our tour talk today was for Bangkok (to be more specific we moor at Laem Chabang) and we had previously booked a tour to see village life but having seen the tour for watching the elephants we decided to switch. It means an afternoon tour instead so we will have to decide where and what to do in the morning, going into Bangkok is out of the question as the coach takes two hours to get there and then two hours to get back. We think that there is a smaller shopping area close by and that P & O are organising a shuttle bus so that may be a possibility for us. It means that we will miss all the pagodas and the Buddhas but that just gives us another excuse to return at a later date doesn’t it? We have actually started to talk about where to go next and we have both said that we would like to return for a longer stay in New Zealand and Australia, then we are also agreed that South Africa needs to be seen and of course Alaska, while I think that South America has some attraction Hilary is not quite so sure on that one. Then of course there is the question of China as it seems that Jess is going to stay there a while, I will need to get over the squatty toilet situation first and also find a way round the long distance internal travel, the trains sound interesting but I would be cranky if I had to spend 12 hours on hard seats and I am not sure about the safety record or the internal Chinese aero industry.

Last night over dinner we had our photograph taken again and I have made a pretty poor copy of it to show you how nice Hilary looked in her sparkly top, it also shows off the Longhorn bowtie to good advantage. The photographers take pictures at a horrendously fast rate and we have already purchased 18 and rejected at least that number again. Today for example while we were sitting on the Promenade Deck just minding our own business trying to do the crossword and Sudoku (failed on both accounts so far) when the photographers turned up with two of them dressed in dinner suits (except that she had a swimsuit underneath and he had trunks), carrying a tray with a bottle of champagne and two glasses. They took our pictures with them, “We are not selling enough photos,” she said,” so I am pimping myself so that I can eat tonight.” Well you can’t resist a sales pitch like that can you? We will look at the prints and decide when we see them but I am not hopeful that they will be any good, Hilary was pretty windswept and I had a baseball cap on to keep the sun from my eyes.

Terry Brown the Brummie detective was moved from Chaplin’s Cinema to a much bigger venue, The Pacific Lounge, this afternoon as people have been complaining that they have had to stand for an hour to listen to him. The new venue seemed to suit him well and we were there early so as to get front row seats, he talked a lot today about body language and plans to do the same tomorrow. As I have said before he is a remarkable speaker, so natural, and it came out today that he runs a couple of companies one of which does interview techniques for bodies other than the police and these include the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise as they used to be called. The other is a Murder Mystery weekend company and his anecdotes about what has happened on some of those were priceless, we will have to look more closely at these and see if any decent ones turn up in the local area. And that is about it for my first stint, it is now 4.30pm, Hilary has the bed covered in scrapbooking stuff and I will invite her to come over and tell you about our day. Incidentally Jess we are so pleased that you are able to come and see us and bringing Nathan with you we are really looking forward to seeing both of you. If you have time let us know your travel times and plans, I got the impression that you are coming by train? Leaving after work on Friday? Already have accommodation? Fill us in on the details if you can. It’s always difficult to know how long it takes to clear the legal stuff after we arrive in port but we should dock at 8.00am and definitely be available by 10.00am. When we met Brian in Sydney we were actually off the ship at 9.00am so these things cannot be guaranteed, we will treat whatever time that we get with you as something to be savoured no matter how long it lasts. We would like to have a couple of nice meals with you and Nathan at the very least and we would also like your assistance in doing some bargain shopping – do you have any experience in that line? God bless. I might go and see The Dark Knight tonight although I doubt that Hilary will join me, on the other hand I may go and join her in the theatre to see a lady cabaret singer.

Tiz I. Well that about covers our day, we are so laid back and relaxed now that I doubt that we will ever be of any use to the world again! Sam’s haircut has turned out pretty well even if I say it myself. I’m glad he managed to get the wayward bits of hair to settle down after his shower. I’m just trying to make the pages for Sydney work in the scrapbook – it is truly more of a challenge when access to the copier and printer are not available – some of the pictures could be a little bigger while others could be shrunk- hey ho it is what it is. We are going to the elephant sanctuary (village) for our trip in Thailand and I am very happy about that. I got a letter back from the tours office today and they are refunding 15% of the cost of the other tour because we missed the animals. Actually the manager apologised to me today for the rush on that tour when I was down there arranging to see the elephants. They do try! Tonight we could be the only ones on our table for dinner. It seems that the other three couples are all otherwise engaged at dinner time. So we should have very good service and be through very quickly – plenty of time to make up our minds whether to go to the cinema or theatre or just sit outside on the promenade deck in the dark watching the sea! Choices, choices! Two days to Jess, can’t wait, I’m very excited to be seeing her again and Nathan coming too is a bonus. We have no idea where we should go but will be flexible and enjoy the day or days. I expect that we will do a little shopping. I have been thinking about you Julian most of the day and wondering how you got on. Marlene, I did not manage to get any tea tree oil in Australia but will look in Hong Kong and Thailand. Sam, give yourself a little time to get over the jet lag before you get back in the hurly burly of writing for clients, I know how much longer it takes to write sensible script while the brain is still somewhere over another land. Sleep is the answer. Liz, how are you getting along with building up your business – or are you taking a little time to recover from the shop before you get stuck in?! Everyone please take a little time to think about the folk who live in Melbourne, Australia. One of them could be Colin, I haven’t heard from Brian about that yet. Also Tony and Gae’s daughter who had to go into hospital for emergency surgery. Many thanks, I must go, Take care, God bless.

Well I did go to the Dark Knight and quite enjoyed it, I sat with Keiko the Japanese lady from our dinner table and she enjoyed it also especially the make up of the District Attorney Dent after he was burned in the fire. I can see why Heath Ledger got his Oscar, it was a bravura appearance and well deserved. OK as the film was so long and it is now well past my bedtime at 10.40pm I am going to close and hope that all of you are well.


Jessica said...

So the plan is this: Nathan and I leave on the train tomorrow to Shenzhen. We shall arrive there around 5:30am, go get Hong Kong dollars (I neglected to get them today due to awful weather) and take the train into Hong Kong (takes about 45 mins). I've found a number of hostels all within the same area of each other, only 61rmb ($10) a night. We'll most likely be staying in the Travellers Friendship Hostel.
On Sunday we'll meet you at the Ocean Terminal dock and spend the day together. Whee!
We leave on Monday as well, but our train isn't until almost 5pm, so we can see you off.

samw7 said...

Hi There
China definitely needs to be on the list. We did three overnight train trips, all of which were about 13 hours. If you get the soft sleepers (first class) you have your own room with a bed (there are four beds in the room), a table and your own slippers. I was able to sleep well on the trains, and in the soft sleepers there is a flush toilet down the hall. The soft sleeper are also affordable, with each trip being about $45. The whole time I was in China I think I used a squat toilet maybe six times and all of them were pretty easy to use. It's definitely a country worth seeing. I love the picture of the two of you, you both look very happy. Now I just have to go off and earn some money so I can join you on some of these adventures.
Love to you both, Sam

Julian said...

Hi Glad your both still enjoying the world tour. Sounds great that you will be able to see Jess and Nathan in Hong Kong. Yesterday I flew up to Newcastle from Plymouth and sat my oral exam with the MCA at 15:30. I passed and so went up to the college to thank the lectures and then met up with Paul from my crew who is studying rock dodging at college. I ended up having far too much to drink and have had a bad head all day. All I need to do now is three 5 day courses in Advanced Burning ( fire fighting) First aid and Lifeboat driving and I will get my Certificate of Competence as a watchkeeping engineer. I hope to get all the courses finished by August but it depends on spaces being available. Sam thank you for my Birthday e mail and I will reply soon. Love to everyone
Love Julian Moira Carl & Kelly