looking back, i consider this our first real date. sure, we were already going out for dinners and such but this was the first time we spent the whole day together — with jeff as antonio madrado, 22, an ordinary seaman with large scars on the neck and left arm; and me as aidan olsen, 29, a cook with a scarred right hand. or so our certificate of competency said which was handed out to us by the receptionist who took the liberty of assigning us our roles on the ship.
all i know is i’m glad it’s all pretend because if i were to be the cook, either the seamen all die from voluntary starvation or i die from asphyxia brought about by drowning brought about by being forcefully thrown overboard by a mob of hungry seafaring crew.
the gallery consisted of several artifacts, photos, and what-nots of what life was like on a ship such as the polly woodside. as expected, the navigation system before was way so much different than the one we have now but then again, it worked. and it got them sailing successfully across the globe straight into australia’s maritime history.
as well as into our history too. like it was especially made for us 128 years later. char.
for all i care, the polly woodside was made to give jeff a chance to come up real close behind me and smell my hair while i was taking photos of a boring old wall clock while i pretended not to notice because (1) i saw no harm in it because he was my “friend” and i thought i was just naturally charming; (2) you gotta admit cream silk conditioners smell really good that i made sure to bring a huge bottle all the way to australia for fear that they don’t have it there (they don’t. unless you buy it at a filo store for $7 a pop which is basically equivalent to highway robbery); and (3) there was absolutely no point in busting him out and having to explain why he offended my sensibilities in straight english. for one thing, it didn’t offend my sensibilities. for another thing, i was “fresh off the boat,” so to speak, so my awkward english speaking skills was no match against his aussie accent.
thank god the dude can now speak my local dialect without making it sound as painful as when we first met but i guess english would always be our middle ground when it comes to communication. like when he says something in bisaya and i wanna clarify what he really means, i ask him to say it in english and it clears everything up. likewise, when i say something in bisaya and he can’t understand it, he asks me to say it in english too and i do — which leaves us both confused and wondering what the hell i’m talking about.
so, yeah, my “me-no-english” certainly worked in his favor at the time. lol.
now, i’m not very familiar with ships and boats so i really can’t say much about the upper deck except that it was big, al fresco, and with heaps of ropes everywhere! i don’t know what the ropes are there for, to be honest, but common sense tells me they have to be very important. otherwise, they wouldn’t be there in the first place. (damn, i’m smart!)
what i do know and have observed is that planking on that green thingie uses up a lot more energy than one may have anticipated.
and that if i were to actually steer the boat manually, i’d be holding on for dear life while i spin together with the wheel.
there’s also a kitchen and a mess hall in the upper deck. pots, pans, kettles, whatever. we all know what a kitchen looks like and basically what a mess hall is so…
the lower deck is where all the cargoes are stored. for some time, it carried coal to supply other ships after it was used as a refueling barge for naval ships during the second world war.
the lower deck also housed the captain’s quarter, which looked so much better and definitely more comfortable than the ordinary seamen’s quarters, with its own bathtub and pail and fancy kitchen, etc. although i don’t remember seeing ordinary quarters to i have no idea where the regular folks sleep. on top of the coal, perhaps?