Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reflections #3: Junk Food and Jammies

Garden of EdenImage via Wikipedia

Embarkation day for passengers: as exciting and fun as debarkation day is not. Getting on the ship for the first time, checking everything out, unpacking, lifeboat drill, maybe a cocktail or two before dinner. And then your first big meal on board and meeting your new dinner mates. Fingers crossed you're all compatible and there's not a lot of long, awkward pauses. After dinner maybe a nightcap or two, try your luck in the casino or a walk on deck, before collapsing in bed tired after your first big day on board.

Embarkation day for crew: exhausting. Everyone has been up bright and early getting the ship cleared, trying to get passengers off quickly, cabins cleaned and set up for the next round of passengers, sorting out and delivering luggage, getting stores on and sorted. On top of the work hard there is often the play hard the night before. Crew members are also often debarking that morning, going on leave. This can mean big send-off parties the night before that usually go on very, very late. Add it all up and crew are exhausted by the end of embarkation day.

On days like this my cabin mate and I, in the scant time we had between passengers getting on and off, would run over to the closest Winn-Dixie. We'd quickly run down the aisles and load up on the worst kind of junk food we could find along with some gossipy tabloids. Our favourite was the Weekly World News.

When the day was finally over - and we always worked longer than usual because embarkation day never went smoothly – we would pick up some beer or a cocktail from the crew bar and head back to our cabins. There we'd get in our sweats or jammies, prop ourselves up on pillows, open a beer, eat our way through our junk food and read the Weekly World News out loud, both of us trying to top the other with the most outrageous, ridiculous story we could find.

The long day, lack of sleep and the paper's utter nonsense and out and out fabrications would lead to hysterical fits of laughter, tears running down our face. That and a few beers later, the day's stress would melt away and we would finally crash, sleep well and be ready to start all over again the next day with a new voyage and new round of passengers. Hopefully rested enough to take on the next evening's formal night, always a big night.

No comments:

Post a Comment