Gordon is seriously ill. He alternates between a high fever, drenched in sweat, to body shaking chills,neither of which can be allowed to get in the way of desperate runs to the toilet (or to be more precise, desperate runs). We have one more day in Bali before our flight to Singapore and serious thought is given as to whether we can get him to the airport and on the plane. The flight is only two and a half hours, but the availability of a toilet at all times is the main consideration.
We decide to go for it (an unfortunate turn of phrase in the circumstances).
All goes well until half way through the flight when a trip to the toilet becomes of utmost importance. Gordon makes a mad dash down the aisle to the front of the plane, only to be met by the pilot emerging from the cockpit on a similar errand, although hopefully without the same amount of urgency. The pilot clearly expects Gordon to stand aside and quietly wait his turn, but unfortunately that is not possible.
Using skills earned years ago at rummage sales and car boot sales, Gordon quickly elbows the captain out of the way, utters a quick apology and locks himself in the bathroom.
When he emerges a few minutes later, the pilot gives him a withering look. The pilot opens the door to the bathroom , takes one step inside, followed by two quick steps backwards, gasping for clean air. He disappears rapidly into the cockpit and does not emerge again.
The next day we have to board the cruise ship. Gordon is feeling better, but not much. We know that before boarding the cruise ship we will have to fill out a questionnaire stating that we are both healthy and do not have a cough or an upset stomach. Blatant lies are clearly called for. The questionnaire cleverly says that if Gordon answers that he does have a stomach problem, he will be given a medical check up by a qualified doctor at no cost to Gordon. He will not be prevented from boarding the ship unless what he has is considered to be contagious. Nice try, but we go for the blatant lies.
Gordon tries not to sweat too much as we go through check in and in no time at all we are locked in our cabin (or stateroom as the cruise ship wants us to call it) and G can make himself comfortable in the bathroom.
That evening Gordon is feeling better and able to face a light dinner. This will be our first sighting of what will have to be the main source of material for these writings over the next 58 days. Yes, we are indeed going to be onboard for two months. So a gaggle of fascinating people is completely necessary for our sanity and your entertainment.
However this cruise is with Princess Cruise line, a much more down market (to say nothing of cheaper) cruise line than we usually travel on. Although it’s name seems perfectly suited to moi, it quickly becomes apparent that our fellow cruisers are not.
They too are much more down market (to say nothing of cheaper) than we are used to. There is no chance of meeting anyone like the Boca Raton Mafia on this ship. They would never stoop this low.
Dear readers, I know what you are thinking right now. You are thinking that I am just a little snobbish. You are thinking that I am cruel. You are thinking I am unfair. You are thinking that my fellow passengers are probably perfectly charming travel companions. So in order to prove to you that my comments are indeed fair, I will present you with a “Passenger of the week” . I will try and do this each time I write , at least until I get caught and go down under a flurry of walkers. Here is my first photo of a lovely couple enjoying their first night in the lounge of the ship
(Ed: I would make a comment about being the butt of the joke, but that may be asking for trouble!)