Monday, 16 March 2009

Day Sixty Four: Indian Coast and still no internet…

Well we finally got an explanation today about the lack of internet and satellite phone connection and it came from the very top – “Good Morning. This is the Captain speaking. We are very sorry about the lack of communications aboard Oriana but one of the widgets in the satellite dish has failed. Our service providers told us that they would have a new part for us in Cochin but we waited and waited and it didn’t arrive. They now tell us that it will be waiting for us in Mumbai.” So there you are, it is a “sorry about that guv, it ain’t my fault,” type of job. We will wait and hope that we can soon be in touch again with all our followers and also to catch up on Jess’s blog too as we haven’t been able to read how she is getting on either.

It has been a lazy day today and quite hot too, we spent most of it sitting outside on the Promenade Deck reading, I finished a James Patterson novel (not a very good one) and promptly started another. Both came from the on board library which despite its limited selection does a pretty good job. We did finish the crossword and I am now on my second attempt at the Sudoku and I will have another go at that later on. No sea life of significance as despite scouring the horizons from the comfort of our sun loungers we could only spot flying fish and one lonely seagull, we are 40 or so miles off the coast of India so we were hoping for some dolphins at least. I have made a couple of world shattering observations while sitting on the deck contemplating the way of the world. The first is that the fat people on the ship always have the most food on their plates when I see them in the restaurants and the second is that they also use the lifts more than the thin ones, I can’t remember the last time that I saw a fat person on the stairs, they are always standing outside the lifts even if it is just to go up one floor. Do you think that this might be cause and effect? Ooh and as well the fat men usually wear black socks and sandals with their oversized shorts and if they do strip off to go in the pool they usually wear Speedos. I just wish that I had the nerve to photograph them but I have a fear that I might get thumped – if they could catch me that is.

The ship has its anti-pirate measures out on the Promenade deck and as we walked around we saw a young security lady standing by the LRad just in case an unidentified boat came near. We spoke to her briefly as we passed and she seemed pretty alert which is always good to know. It is the first time that we have seen the LRad deployed on the lower decks as it is usually up on the wing bridge that the captain uses for docking the ship.

As we worked our way up the stairs to our cool cabin, it was too hot to sit outside past 2.00pm, we stopped at the photographic centre as we had a voucher for a half price small album that we wanted to use and got chatting to the folks behind the desk. The young lady who takes many of the photos around the ship comes from Suffolk and one of the guys who helps her is from Chelmsford and he told us that the Staff Captain comes from Colchester. Small world heh?

Tomorrow will be interesting to say the least as we have just received a notice to tell us that every passenger and every member of the crew must be interviewed by the Indian Immigration whether or not we are leaving the ship to go ashore at Mumbai. Interviews start at 6.30am! Luckily we are not in that group which is for people on a full day tour and who need to leave the ship soon after the docking is completed but we still have to get up early enough to present our documents and have our passports stamped ready to be in the theatre for our tour which starts at 9.00am. Hilary has done a great job in getting us dispensation to go down earlier as being people whose last name starts with W we were scheduled to meet them at 9.30am which is long after our coach leaves. I am already not impressed with Indian bureaucracy, especially as most purchases have to be made in rupees and they don’t sell them on board. They keep telling us that you can get them “at the terminal” except that at Cochin there was no terminal as we were in a commercial port and with the way the tour thing is going in Mumbai there will be no time to stop and get money. Do I seem a bit negative here? I would just like India to be as welcoming as its adverts say and to at least be on a par with the efficiency of Hong Kong or Singapore.

Hilary has been doing some preparatory work for the next phase of the scrapbook today as we recently received the latest batch of 3 x 2 photos, so she has been typing text, sorting out the photographs etc. I will let her tell you all about it while I think about getting dressed for dinner, it’s casual tonight so no mad rush, then we will be off to see a new Headliner’s show before getting to bed ready for our early start in the morning. Here’s Hilary….

Tiz I. To say I am pissed off with the P & O management, the Indian immigration authority in Mumbai and the Tours Office is an understatement. Between them all they have reduced me to a mumbling jelly. Between them they have managed to mess up the only day we have in Mumbai and make it almost impossible for us to go on the tour we booked and paid for 2 months ago. Apparently they don’t communicate at all when deciding the timing for their own particular activities and this time they have messed up big time. If we don’t get ashore on time and have a good time I will be after compensation on a massive scale! It is so tiring having to get cross and make a stand! Thank goodness for the Headliners show tonight, they are consistently brilliant and are great entertainment and I will definitely be in the audience watching them after dinner. Did we mention that we were invited to a captain’s cocktail party last night – as VIP’s We really do not know why and spent an entertaining hour last night talking to other guests asking them if they knew why they had been invited. No-one did! It is a complete mystery and has really upset two of our dinner companions who love champagne and were not invited! Rumour had it that the captain himself drew up the guest list - that would make the mystery even more intriquing. I think today I might have gone from VIP to troublesome passenger in one hit! Hey ho such is life. Apparently we should have internet connection tomorrow so I am hoping that we can get up and running with the blog then. Anyway it is dinner time again and I had better change ready for the call. Take care, God bless.

Hilary mentioned ‘the call’ there and it is one of the things that we look forward to each night, not because it means that we are about to eat again, although that is a nice thing to look forward to, but because we get a slightly different call each night. He always says the same at first “Ladies and Gentlemen, first sitting dinner is now being served in both the Peninsular and Oriental restaurants. Do enjoy your dinner and have a xxxxxx evening.” Where each night he inserts a new word such as enjoyable, splendid, exciting, fascinating, scintillating, or even splendiferous. We usually stand at the bottom of the staircase or along the corridor just to listen for the word of the evening. Great fun!

Ppps this is being added after the visit to Mumbai – see the next blog as to what a cock up I have made of the postings while we have not had an internet connection, the pictures on this page are from Cochin which should have been Day 63 but you can read a little about Cochin on the Mumbai page Day 65. Sorry, Sam.

1 comment:

Marlene and Tara said...

Wow am I pleased to see you guys again! I was getting worried and I missed you! I am so pleased there is a good reason. Can't wait to see all your purchases when you get home. Can't wait to see you too!
Hey! Guess what? I have sold my house! Last Friday I was all for giving in my notice and coming back to Plymouth (most reluctantly) because my tenant handed in her notice and I could not afford my rent here and then I sold the house! How's that for being told I am in the right place! Not only that, but on the same day I got offers of two alternative places to live which are cheaper than here.
I am not sure what to do yet, rent or buy, stay in St Buryan or move to somewhere less expensive, but the most important thing is that I can stay. I know not everyone will share my enthusiasm, but I am thrilled. I can honestly say that I have never felt so "me" as since I have been in Cornwall. Sorry Liz - not ready to come back yet!o thrilled to see you two back. By the way, the captain obviously has impeccable taste when choosing his dining companions!
Loads of love to you both xxx