The Raj is crumbling
Earlier in this voyage I suggested the situation in this QM2 cruise world is what the Raj must have been like with all the white people being waited on by people of colour with a few exceptions, but things have changed. After we left Freemantle when we became a cargo ship, there have been some subtle and not so subtle changes. When the captain used to do his noon day announcement he always addressed the guests first and then the ship’s company, this has now reversed.
Some of the rather spoilt white people deeply resent any change and appear to find any excuse to complain about the attitude of the crew. Clearly the crew like the rest of us are not perfect but I am sure some of them are liking the changes such as having an outdoor deck with a swimming pool all to themselves and the main theatre for their films. There are more than twice as many of them so to me that seems fair. I pass the duty free shop which is still open but only allows three in at a time. There is a long line of young crew waiting their turn and at the end of that are a queue of guests having to wait behind them. I suspect the crew are enjoying that and I would too if my life consisted of waiting upon a load of rich white and often fat people. During my student days when I was a waitress the part I hated the most was having to be servile and I remember with great pleasure showering a particularly obnoxious family with a plateful of food when I tripped up as I approached their table. I got fired. The purser’s office however, need to up their game. A number of people have been very upset by their off- hand manner with people struggling to arrange very complicated onward journeys to America or other European countries. Should the cruise industry survive they could be your future customers.
On a lighter note I am amused by people’s breakfast habits. The old boy on the next table is complaining loudly to the poor waiter about his poached egg. He says it is hard on the inside but not cooked on the outside — I would like to meet the chef who managed to cook that egg. On the table behind us our friend the postman is having a spat (over the Queen’s speech) with a great bear of a man who we call Mr Euromillions. (He has more homes than you can shake a stick at). He always wants more, and according to the postman, is unbelievably greedy and usually wants something different to what is on offer. The waiters love him though as he flashes the cash constantly to get what he wants. He does have a wife but we rarely see her — she only came once to a meal asked for 6 lemons and has not been seen since. He disappears clutching a 4 pint milk bottle — she must live on milk and lemons. There is a place laid for the poached egg grumbler’s wife/partner but we never see her either. I suspect there is a fair amount of domestic discord on this ship as well as at home.
Quite apart from any weight I have probably gained I am fast approaching not feeling slim any more. Everything is relative and when I reach a more normal population, feeling a bit on the chubby side will be with me once more. As I watch a large American having to change her chair for one with no arms as she cannot fit in, I am reminded this is not normal. The staff on the other hand are trying to fatten me up. I ask for one egg and get two, I ask for half a glass of orange juice and get a whole one. The girl with the pastries waves them under my nose.
Yesterday the captain was in a very jolly mood, I suspect he has been told he is keeping his job with a year’s gardening leave. Should he succeed in bringing home the QM2 from a 2020 round the world cruise coronavirus free that will be some feat.
Mrs ‘I like a gossip me’ is in the bar along with her detective friend who once arrested Jeremy Corbyn for defacing a conservative poster. The detective proudly tells me everyone she was involved in prosecuting was convicted and when a barrister asked her to expand on how an act of gross indecency (masturbation) was committed, her response was ‘well your Honour I could not really say but just like you would do it I imagine’. That must have caused much supressed mirth in the court room.
Considering we are in the tropics the weather has not been great — lots of cloud but just enough sunshine to warrant a swim but the sunbathers have not been out in force. However today the heat is back with a vengeance and fortunately the pool is open and the crew are now cleaning out the Jacuzzis.
There are some very anxious people now we are drawing near wondering how they are going to get back to American and European countries. Mr Euromillions has probably got his own plane waiting somewhere. One lady said she just wants to stay on the ship. Tension is mounting between some passengers and the crew. There was an explosion at lunch when a waiter, possibly rather abruptly, tried to enforce social distancing at a table and a guest stomped off to see the captain in a rage .I expect he got diplomatic short shift and is now sitting at another table.
All those pretty blonde presenters on TV now have dark roots showing and we head back to the UK and the end of this weird life we are leading only to enter a scarier world back home. I see our steward and ask him if we could have a mask for Andrew and rubber gloves for us both for the taxi ride home. I took the precaution of keeping the mask we were given when we were in solitary but the rest was whisked away. Andrew does a Trump and says we won’t need masks — I quickly squash that one. Having heard about Boris being in intensive care it had really hit home how nobody is safe. Wealth, power and influence doesn’t protect you. We had spent yesterday checking on our relatives who are vulnerable and had a large gin to celebrate when we heard that so far, they are all still well. But the evening news about Boris brought us back down to earth with a bump. Regardless of our differences in the past not that he knows me of course — just my rants at the telly I wish him well. Here comes another upside — I suspect he will be very generous to the NHS in the future if they save his life.