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To be able to walk straight on the ship ...

My left leg grew by 5 cm in the past week. Human nature is amazing faculty to adapt! Seriously - we have been living at a 20 degree angle this past week. Makes you wonder if the ship has not been built wrongly ...oh, and it's 20 degrees to starboard - that's the nautical term for right...go figure - same thing goes for ropes by the way, of which there is none on the ship, no Sir, they all have different names!! - but I diverge...


 

Back to our angled ship. It's quite fun actually to watch everyone walk in mysterious ways... for those who know Monty Python's sketch of the Ministry of silly walks, you'll get a pretty good idea of what I mean. One step to the left, sorry to port, 2 small steps to starboard, one leap forward... Frank, our cameraman, got his pas-de-deux to a fine art. And I'm not even talking about the arms - they just grab anything, or anyone for that matter, nearby. 

Life at an angle also makes your trip to the lavatory a unique experience every time. I now understand why real sailors do it sitting down (for the ladies out there, there truly is a drawing stating this fact in the gents' toilets). Sitting down generally equates to throwing yourself down as fast as possible after pulling down your pants - I seem to enjoy a pretty good toilet seat hit rate if I may say so. Once seated, life's a breeze - feet firmly planted in front of you, leaning ever so slightly backwards (don't try this at home), you could even read a book like that. Once the reason for your visit is done and over with however, things get complicated. Standing up is generally quite doable - but now your legs are blocked by the pants around your ankles (get the picture?...thought so) - so no quick balancing movement with one of your legs. This is where your bum, elbows and arms come in handy - any 2-point blocking position using the above will generally allow you to pull up those pants, and resume a half-decent position - good thing one is alone in these circumstances... quick wash of hands, and out you are you'd think. Not so.

As eveything is at an angle, so is the water that comes out of the faucet. Big deal you say. But you see, if the sink is small, then that water flows not into the sink, but outside of it. So this takes a bit of figuring out where to put your hands to profit from the water you just turned on! Life at an angle...

Eating aboard has become a fearsome task. Let me explain. You stand in line to get your plate served to you (yes Sir, such is the service on Europa!). All well until now. Things start getting complicated when you have to take hold of the plate, take a knife and fork, a napkin, and make way to that fine place you just spotted...to discover that someone else just took your coveted position as you started heading over to it (damn you to hell you mumble with a smile). Plan B it is...you look around anxiously, and finally decide to settle in the deckhouse. A civilized place the deckhouse - leather seats, mahony tables - a barman amongst barmen, ready to dispatch your favorite drink in the blink of an eye - all good you think to eat a nice dinner. Well, life at an angle is not that simple. While there are anti-slip mats on the tables, these will generally prevent your plate from slipping away from you, but not what is on it! Potatoes and meat balls tend to roll, sauces to flow and drip...so you need to develop a new set of skills, quickly mind you if you don't want to starve, to catch your food on your plate while it is still there...all very tiresome if you ask me. Life at an angle...

Comes the time to head for bed. A well deserved rest after a day spent at an angle...forget it. Nothing even remotely like that in store for you. Getting into bed is not so bad, although I have seen some of my cabin mates needing several tries to jump into their top bunk, with some mild cursing in between. But nothing like that for me with my bottom bunk. My bunk lies in the length of the ship - and this means it wants me out! Every wave pushes me towards the edge. Luckily for me there is an elevated board to the bunk, which I quickly found good use for in my 2-point blocking position mentioned previously which needs to be applied here as well: back firmly resting against the board, with the feet against the hull - a fine position if there ever was one to sleep at an angle. Of course, the night is long and you will sometimes find yourself in strange positions from which considerable effort is needed to extract yourself... I'm thinking that is maybe why there are no double bunks - would make for some interesting kamasutra no doubt...but this is not the right time or place to talk about such matters).

I need to cut this blog post short, as writing at an angle is really quite tiresome...but good thing about our life at an angle is that the people don't seem to change - everyone is as cheerfull as ever, and life aboard is still as enjoyable - thank you all for such a pleasant trip!

Written by:
Iskander | Trainee

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