2023 – 3 – Grand World 3.4 of 5 More of Africa

I woke up an hour late, at sea on Monday, March 20, thanks to the way technology and I have been handling time changes.  I sometimes wear two watches, one for my steps and one for the time.  My phone doesn’t always know what time it is either.  The result was that I had to scramble to be in the right place at the right time to turn my passport back in.  There are worse problems, but I don’t seem to have them. 

There’s a bug going around the ship.  A lot of people have the runs.  The ship is treating it like Norovirus and testing like mad.  Five people I know have it already.  People are passing around Imodium.  It’s a treat.  I’m trucking along, with nothing but my usual structural complaints.  I have heard a ton of good things about the acupuncturist on board and have decided now is the time to give that a try, so I had a consultation and my first appointment.  We’ll see how that goes.  We had a very nice entertainer on stage, Naomi Tagg, a South African violinist.  We liked her a lot.

The next day, I got off the ship in Luanda, Angola, with Wells, Dee and Nona and we took the shuttle to the market.  I still haven’t found pants, I like.  It wasn’t much of a market and not much of a day.  Had a sailaway/happy hour with the Starrs and Mario Kalman and there were only 3 of us at dinner, thanks to the crud.  The entertainment was an old movie “Death on the Nile” and it was a lot better that the new Academy award nominees they have been feeding us. 

Back at sea on Wednesday, March 22, it was an ordinary work day, with a couple of people at office hour.  There were only three of us at the table, though.  I didn’t want to sit through the comedian again, so Wells suggested “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”, which had won best picture and was on our stateroom TVs.  So I watched it and it was your typical Kung Fu Movie, a genre whose time must have come.  It was in Hong Kong when I was there in the 90s. We considered them kids’ movies, because they are.

On Thursday, March 23, at sea, we all had a body temperature check.  There are plenty of people sick but the Norovirus tests are coming up clean.  Now the suspect is food brought on at Cape Town, likely fruits and veggies.  That explains why yours truly stays healthy when all around her are succumbing.  Beryl came by to thank me for her birthday cards and give me a candy lei to celebrate her birthday.  Vicki is back, having taken Azithromycin.  See? Bacterial.  I parsed my shipboard bill, so far, and sorted out my expenses.  Christof Van Der Berg, was on stage.  He is the singer, pianist from Shades of Africa.  Alone, he didn’t seem quite as slimy, but he emotes too much for my taste.  The kind of guy you have to shut your eyes to appreciate, even though he is pretty good looking. 

Still at sea on Friday, March 24, I worked on my expense account, our Farewell Dinner and table seating for our Canaletto dinner.  I am still learning of people in quarantine.  Nona spent an hour in my cabin, going over the shore excursions she and Beryl have picked for Africa and Europe.  I signed up for most of them.  She also taught me a new web site www.whatsinport.com, which is pretty helpful.  I started working on transportation for my Kilmainham Jail add-on to our shore excursion in Dublin.  Then I got the Newsletter that I had been working on printed and delivered. Naomi Tagg was back on stage, just as good as the first time. 

On Saturday, March 25, we were in Takoradi, Ghana.  It was hot, there was a pretty good market on the pier and Nona said it wasn’t worth going into town, so we just contributed a bit to the local economy there.  I finally found some pants.  I was getting pretty sick of the few I had. I did some work, enjoyed sailaway, had dinner and went to bed early, because the movie didn’t interest me.

On Sunday, March 26, we docked in Abidjian, Ivory Coast.  There was a shuttle to a market in town and Nona and I took it.  The big circular market has been torn down and is being totally rebuilt, but there was a smaller one we could access.  Ivory Coast is not a very safe place for tourists, so there was a 10-foot-high iron fence around the market.  Nona had bought something there in November and the vendor had given her a gift, so she had a gift for the vendor, a little fabric bowl she had made in Arts and Crafts class, filled with Holland America pillow chocolates.  Nona had a picture of the vendor to show around and we soon found her.  She was delighted with the chocolates and ate all but one of them on the spot.  That one she gave to her assistant.  They needed to be eaten fast because it was hotter than the melting point of chocolate.  There were many hugs and many pictures, but none of them were in my camera. 

Then we went to the bead seller that Nona had found to have the best prices last time.  I am not sure we got the best prices this time, but I went away with four necklaces and Nona with three.  The power was out in the market and the vendors were showing such wares as were inside the huts, by the light of their cell phone flashlights.  Yes, everyone has one of those.  In one dark hut, I finally bought a mask for $60, not knowing whether I was getting had, or not.  Back at sailaway, where I got this nice picture,  there were a few people in sports jerseys, which were the dress of the day.  It wasn’t working very well.  I didn’t go to the Sports Trivia Game, which replaced real entertainment.  Tell you the truth, it wasn’t much of a day.  But, it was a slice of life, and I do love life.