Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day the First

OK, first things first.  I am on a cruise ship right now.  The ship's internet rates are really high.  Really high.  To put this in perspective, the ship is charging me twice as much as Verizon for two-thirds as much internet.  Seriously.  Anything that is more expensive than Verizon for international data is ... well ... fucking expensive.  The crew here cheerfully informed me that I should probably just use free wi-fi at various restaurants in the ports, but I've got shore excursions and activities planned for the ports, and I'm not going to carry my chromebook around with me (particularly when tendering to shore) in the hopes of hitting upon free wi-fi.  All of which is to say:  I've purchased a certain amount of data and that's all she wrote -- I'll update the journal (text only) using said data on a (satellite-permitting) daily basis until such time as I'm out of data.  Thereafter, the writing will continue but the posting won't resume until I'm safely on shore in the presence of free wi-fi.  Probably an airport hotel at the end of the cruise.  Possibly the airport itself.

Second things second.  Here is how today was supposed to go:  I wake up early.  I head out around 9:00 a.m., drop by Covent Garden market, and buy a couple things I should have bought earlier.  On the way back, I stop off at the chemist (pharmacy, whatever) and buy some more ThermaCare back wraps.  Back at the flat by 11:30.  The driver picks me up; then picks up my parents; and drives us out to Portsmouth.  We get to Portsmouth around 1:30; drop our luggage on the ship; wander around Portsmouth; have a nice lunch; get back on board by the 4:00 all-aboard; and commence the cruise.

Here is what actually happened:  I sleep in until about 10.  I rush around to finish all my packing and tidy the flat before I leave.  The driver rings me at 11:20 -- I'm not quite ready.  He (very kindly) bounces my luggage down the stairs and loads up the car.  We pick up my parents.  We head out to Portsmouth.  There is a massive accident on the M25.  Someone apparently flipped a caravan (trailer).  Nobody is going anywhere.  Our driver rings his boss and they try to figure out how to get us to Portsmouth.  It involves a 50-minute detour -- much of it in the opposite direction -- and tearing down tiny country roads at vast rates of speed.  We get to Portsmouth around 3:00; get checked in on the ship by 3:30; and barely get a snack in before the all-aboard and safety briefing.  Not very exciting, although we did get here before the ship sailed, which is, y'know what matters.

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