Posted by mrhorrible on:
Further ramblings on a cruise I went on in '07
Well, we had dinner, and the guest that was so much trouble last nite was on best behavior tonite- poor F*** (Yes, I follow the European convention of putting asterisks for some of the people’s names that appear here, but not all the time) was in pain from his shoulder. All the formally dressed Indians were looking at me like “What, a Gringo with a Kurta?” did I forget to mention that I wore white? I love to wear white, white for purity, for just plain goodness, and of course because I AM THE SUPREME BEING, ya know? Whassa matter, you never seen an Ustad before? Want me to quote Raga Samadhi Kallyan from memory? or maybe something more esoteric? I have to mention that one of my continuing fantasies is on the order of: a bunch of Indians are sitting there and saying “ Shho you are Musician? you will prove, p-lease?” and of course I give them a choice between every song ever written in Iman Kalyan, esoteric ones especially. “Here’s a sargam; a dhrupad; a chhota khyal; want a dewwoootional song? a little tarana? what, you say you believe me; sure you don’t want a REALLY ESOTERIC rag, Bhetti bhup or Nat Megh maybe: how’s about the secret version of the sargam? What, you believe me? Shucks, I was just gettin’ started!“ I have to dig and find out what hidden complexes were implanted through the system. There’s always that little thing that asks to demonstrate one’s level, sort of like dogs sniffing each other out, what’s your rank, I had that experience just a few months ago in Switzerland with the Calcutta Kathak dancer, she arrived just a bit “Gringos, huh? let’s see your credentials” and a little later it was “oh, ohhhh, OOOHHHHHH, now just I am believing you, was that Nikhil’s gat, LET’S DANCE!” And moments later we were doing low-level wing-to-wing passes at 500 miles an hour over my disbelievibg cousin's astonished head. Ultra-high we are, of course, maybe it comes from the whole court musician thing, or maybe the “gringo makes good” fantasy. The dinner was excellent, some of the best beef that I have ever eaten, And the aforementioned guest said that everything was perfect. The maitre d’ was relieved, as were the waiters. So were we. My honey Rita (No, not you, dearest, I know that you are still learning to love me; shall I address you as Rita 2? Are you happy that I recharged your battery?) was delighted with the emerald, which I am happy to say was easily as beautiful as the ‘natural ones in the shop, if not more so. I like the vibration of it very much. She didn’t notice the red box until Robyn shoved it under her nose, and it had been sitting on the table in front of her for about ten minutes. Boy, did I surprise her! Later we went to the jewelry store where I was amazed that Isa preferred the diamond heart over the emerald earthangs. Of course she was effusive in her love, I hope that a VERY rich and VERY wonderful man comes her way someday, her as well as Camilla, who was looking radiant. Man, if I drank like Camilla does I would be under the table. I have learned that alcohol manifests as VERY acidic in my system, and frankly I still don’t understand why it’s legal and grass isn’t. It’s GOT to be a money thing, some corporations are afraid that they won’t make money like alcohol and tobacco do. Probably because it’s so easy to grow decent pot.
later that nite. danced with Isa and Camilla, too bad that Rita has this foot thing and can’t dance... I really want to learn to dance salsa. Went up to the olive and twist and heard a great band, from Poland no less, playing the standards. An older couple were dancing incredibly well, many excellent moves and enjoying it, they were as good as instructors. Had an incredible practice with Peter’s dotara, which was Mary Khan’s, probably the best workout that inst. has gotten ever. I love the dotara; the portability combined with the excellence of hemen dotaras make them some of the best instruments around, apart from the fact that people don’t take the dotara seriously, it being a ‘street axe’ and all, sort of like a beggar’s instrument; except that a Hemen dotara is sort of like a Stradivarius ukulele, and in the hands of T.S.B. can make mortals, Gods, and demons forget their troubles and dance. There’s a little adjunct to the O ‘n T called Cloud nine, and it’s quiet in there. They probably have a pianist playing at some hours, but when I went it was blissfully empty and quiet. I did Piloo-Bach, wailed for about an hour and tore it up. Good instrument! Peter better start being worthy of it.
27 Aug 07 Got up in my usual walrus way, knocking things over, and God knows I tried to be subtle, but woke Rita up anyway. Asked her if she wanted to get up, or meet me later, no to both, she didn’t know what she wanted to do. Don’t know if I want to go ashore on some tamed-down disneylandia version of Haiti. Saw some fishermen paddling by... rowing! What, no motor? one sitting and pulling and the other standing and pushing. Haven’t seen that arrangement so often. The island looks green and scrubby; the company owns their own little peninsula, with all the games, rope rides, vendors, and the usual stuff, although I hear that there’s a flea market, whatever that is. Oh, and I forgot; the previous morn in my peregrinations ran into a little place called “The Living Room” where there were computers and you could log on the net for 25 cents a min instead of 50 like it is on the rest of the ship, so at 4 am went and got my mail etc.
Last nite went to do same, and was chased out; turns out that it’s for teenagers, and I was a little overage... funny, I didn’t think that I looked THAT old... naturally when I went in NO computers were being used, but ciccia. This morning 7;30 AM went in and logged on to get my mail, nobody there of course. Any self-respecting teen would be sawin’ logs at that hour on vacation.
Vinnie, (Kirpalani), the guy on deck at the jewelry shop, is right on. Got a bunch of good info from him. Seems Dubai is the place for gold, but shipboard for watches and jewelry. Once you add taxes and all on the mainland, you pay 100% more. Jewelry is such a racket...
Went to the island”- You get in a tender with 200 other tourists and over you go to tame Haiti- no Voodoo, no V.D., no vices. Went over wiith Rita, Camilla, and a cute Australian yoga instructor, quite nicely rounded and all... When she says “No” it sounds like “Noy” - “Touch your nose” sounds like “Toch your noise”- I love it. She led us through a really nice little yoga workout on a secluded corner of the island. Why do yoga instructors say “Take a nice breath”? is there any other kind? “Take an unpleasant breath!” Yeah, right.They also say things like “Take a nice stretch for me” Actually, I would rather do it for myself, thank you. Rita said that I wouldn’t live through one of L’s classes. I’m so NOT into macho yoga instructors. If L. tried pushing on me like she pushed Rita, and coincidentally injuring her, I would teach her the art of tooth digestion. Don’t get it ? I would knock her teeth down her throat. The patter that goes with yoga instruction must be taught in some kind of special class; all yoga instructors that I’ve heard say the same lame things. Couldn’t help noticing that the tame part of the island has a twenty-foot-high fence around it- “THEY” probably wouldn’t want real Haitians to come and make the tourists uncomfortable. I noticed that none of the Haitians was fat, or even slightly adipose. I also noticed that although there were real island maracas for sale, the musicians were playing the plastic ones made by “LP”.
Took Rita to O & T after a somewhat desultory bkfst- I even turned off the music. What a view! we talked over the intercoms to Robyn and we remarked about the whale. Then I remembered that she probably had the 2-way radio turned on and was treating the other passengers to our remark. Where’s the taste police? some people who were dressed up for the formal nite last night looked like either Byelorussian whores or refugees from a grease appreciation festival in Georgia...SOVIET Georgia! There were quite a few that looked like “Time Travel Whores” WHERE’S THE TASTE POLICE? Someone, Geno to be exact, paid good money to be on this cruise- there should be a “No offensive Appearance” rule along with the “No Offensive Behavior” rule. I guess that a cruise like that would be a LOT more expensive.
The ladies have all gone to “Johnny Rockets”, which I gather is some kinda ‘dive’ where you can get ‘American’ food- fries with corrosive sublimate and melted whale blubber- the kind of ‘food’ that we call “Instant Heartburn”. Some people refer to that as “Doof” which is ‘backwards food’, of course. I sometimes call it “McFood” and some entertainment, such as most sitcoms and Fox ‘news’ “McLife”. Reminds me of the time some newbie at the Ali Akbar College of Music (Hereinafter referred to as the “AACM”) asked for the Raga “Dipak”, the famous “Raga of death, misfortune, and warm, moist flatulence, ” and AAK said plaintively “There are so many beautiful things in the world; why do you want THAT?”
By the way, Rita (No, not you, sweetie, you’re Rita 2. Get used to it.) read this immortal piece of literature and remarked that I’m an idiot; but at least she smiled when she said that. She must have been at least slightly amused, and how could she not? It’s not every day that THE SUBLIME PRESENCE writes a cruise diary. Frankly, I don’t see HER writing down the happenings.