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End of the Storm

October 29, 2010

The sea has calmed. The mornings of waking up to find stuff thrown all about the rooms, and the walks down hallways feeling like a scene from Inception where you almost end up walking along the walls, are over. No more waves splashing at the 10th floor windows. It almost feels weird to even think about that now, considering how flat and smooth the ocean has become. As we came around to hide behind Taiwan, the ocean flattened out, the skies opened up, and it finally felt like a beautiful day on the great wide sea. The water has turned a pleasant greenish hue, and as the sun dances on the small little waves running alongside the hull as the ship hums politely along, it really does feel relaxing. Everyone was in high spirits, out on the deck to enjoy the first bit of sunshine since we left Yokohama.

At least, that was what I could see out the window as I sat in the Starlight Lounge, labouring through response after response as I made my way through the initial GET interviews. The people who have signed up for the GET (Global English Training) program which we will be teaching, have to be sorted into classes roughly appropriate for their level. This means asking a bunch of mundane questions to people who barely have the facilities to answer them, time after time after time. As an effort is made to make the interviewers different to the ultimate teachers, and as I am slated to teach the advanced classes, this meant I kept turning back from the skipping and frolicking on the deck to meet yet another drawn face in the half-light telling me that Eddo is read book. The process took from about 8.30am to 6.30pm.

But now it is done! After one final observation session (Open House) in a few days, the classes will be finalised and lessons will begin. However, elsewhere on the Boat, things are humming along nicely. Halloween preparations are coming along, and pockets of people can be found all over the place making decorations, or experimenting with make-up. Lectures and newspapers continue to be put out and translated, and everybody is thoroughly excited about our first port of the voyage – Hong Kong!

Our first time on fixed land in a week will start at about 8am, and go through till about 5pm. It’s a short time to visit somewhere, but luckily Hong Kong is a nice small place to start with. One half-Hong Kong-ese girl on the boat has taught a small introduction to the area, along with some basic Cantonese phrases. And I will be meeting up with an old friend of mine who I haven’t seen since she left my University in New Zealand about 7 years ago! Seven years is a long time. When I think about all I have done, and all I have surely changed since that time, it’s strange to think about. This girl who I will be meeting, how much will she have changed? Will we have anything to talk about? Will we even recognise each other? I’ll find out as part of my Hong Kong (apparently Hongi Kongi in Arabic) adventure tomorrow!

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