Sunday, May 04, 2008

Travelling Around

After a long series of events that proved to be hard to overcome and leave in the past, finally I got a break. One of my favorite things in life is to travel and see new places, meet new people, experiment different cultures and everything else that comes with it. Last week was a bit of a hectic one where I had to get ready on a short term notice where I was informed about a vessel transfer. Despite the regular job that had to be done and the challenges of the new changes in the operation, my mind was already set on the ever exciting trip to the city of Genova. Like usual I waited till the last few days prior to departing to say good by to my new friends and long time friends as well since I never liked the sad moments of departures.

It was a long flight to the city of Paris where I struggled big time with the language and I am thankful that I did not miss the conection flight to Genova nor did my luggages got lost, until finally I arrived safely to Novotel Hotel near downtown Genova. I am still in shock to see how less my dollars are compared to the euro currency and afraid to run out of money if I spend on basic stuffs like transportation, laundry and food. Nevertheless my company supplies for almost all of it, I still can’t help but to seriously wonder as to how, low income families manage to survive through the months. I just came from a supermarket and saw how expensive food can be even in a cheap market like Coop. A kilo of the cheapest beef, 7 euros(11.55 US dollars)? Cheese is really expensive and so is bread. Perhaps the cheapest article they sell in abundance would be wine? And that’s only because Italy is a mass producer of it, just like gas prices in Iran and Venezuela are cheap just because they own it.
Another interesting fact I’ve observed is the amount of inmigrant living in this city and probably in the rest of the country, specially from Bangladesh, and to my surprise from Ecuador. Like it would be expected they own very small business all around the corners in the poorest and dangerous streets of downtown, living in tiny rooms packed to its maximun and on very deplorable situations where criminality, drugs and sex abuse is no the exepction of the important cities’s problems like Genova.

Transportation is somehow expensive and so is clothing and communication, gas prices are on the moon and it almost inmediately made me appreciate the fact that I have a job and my country is not that expensive yet. It makes me think about the US economy, my countrie’s economy and in general the world’s economy. It seems like things are rushing down hill at a amazing speed and nothing can stop it. Maybe my perception of the world is wrong, only God can tell, but these days we are living in are bad. I can’t see other way out but God’s intervention in all of it.

Not everything makes me sad or angry though, (like the fact that the food and dining service at my hotel sucks, lol) on the good side, yesterday I went with three co-workers to a couple of turistic cities outside of Genova, 2 hours away on train. It was such a great trip and we enjoyed every minute of it. Even the train trip was fabulous, great sightseeing of the coast on one side and the middle size mountains on the other. The coast on this side of the country is rocky and the cities are built on the steep sides of the mountains, and there are five old historic cities all interconnected by walking distance on foot trails and passage ways sometimes on the very edge of the mountains. We had a gorgeous day, sunny and cool temperature, so although we had to walk a lot we were not fatigued by the tipical heat we find in the caribbean. We even hiked all the way to the top of one of the hundreds of medium size mountains, and we were in contact with the thousands of acres of vineyards and tiny buildings built on the steep ladle of the mountain. Such a great experience, one for the memory.

There is lot of work, perhaps much more than I can imagine, that has to be done over the period of a month and I only pray to God that He gives me the strenght and determination to go through it till the end, not only to hang in there but to be able to do my very best. At the end of this two months I will probably be going back to the previous ship were I was last week which is sailing in the Mediterrean.

I feel this is all a new experience in my life. What I mean is living on land, waking up every day, to take a public transportation to go to work, having my meals in a totally different environment than my working place (ship), coming back from work to my hotel room, hanging out with friends afterwards and having week ends free to do whatever I wish to. This is something which we all ship’s crew members dream about.

1 comment:

Dana said...

It is soooo good to see you, if only via a photo!!! I miss you dearly my friend. I will email you separately.