WordPress recently notified me that I have now posted 100 times on this blog. I remember when I started blogging a long time ago. What spawned out of a necessity became a way of life for me. I have always enjoyed writing freely and speaking my mind out. Some of them have been well thought out posts. Others have been rants. I’ve been through many ups and downs with this blog and it has always been a silent partner in my life. A comforting presence I turn to whenever I feel the need.
Today I find myself in Xiamen, China. My company flew me here so that I could join my ship. Only thing is that the ship isn’t going to berth till tomorrow evening. I had two back to back reasonably decent flights. Reached the hotel and hooked onto the WiFi. Only trouble is, nothing works here. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flipboard, WhatsApp, YouTube nothing. It’s almost pointless to be online. Can’t download podcasts, I can listen to Apple Music for some reason. I can download torrents here.
I stepped down for dinner and I have only seen such places in movies. One wall comprised of several transparent tanks containing a variety of sea creatures with their tentacles and claws etc. I have honestly never seen anything like this before. There were lobsters, crabs, eels, some kind of a fresh water fish, sea cucumbers and other things I didn’t recognise. I browsed through the food menu and everything had something dead in it. Not that I’m a vegetarian, I just don’t experiment with my food. Even my safe choice of chicken was being served with some sea going monstrosity. I picked something with rice and hoped to god that it would be what I imagine it to be. The plate showed up with something on top of the rice and it was covered in some sticky salty gravy. I knocked that thing off the top of the rice mountain and dug in. Had some jasmine tea as well. Came back rather refreshed. I don’t want to know what that thing was or what that gravy was made of and I don’t want to find out either.
It also happens to be a weekend which means premier league football in my world. I manually scanned through all 89 channels and found one sports channel which was showing the local Chinese league instead. Back to the days of relying on text commentary for football games. Most of the channels were in Chinese and I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. I found one English documentary channel and that one sports channel. That’s basically what I’ve watched all day. I was smart enough to download a ton of podcasts at the airport assuming a similar situation. Glad I did that.
Usually, I speak to one particular friend of mine who has always been by my side and understands what I go through whenever I leave to join my ship. It’s a combination of fear, anxiety and sadness. She also knows it only lasts one day and she’s always been patient with me and allowed me to rant useless nonsense even during her work days. But I couldn’t speak to her this time. There is still a communication blackout in Kashmir and I haven’t heard from her in two weeks. I am really worried about her and her comforting presence is being missed a lot especially now. The government is slowly phasing in phone lines and networks back into the valley but I think it’ll be a while before they’ll get internet back. And now that I’m at sea, I can’t reach her unless she has access to the internet. I’m really unhappy with this and I wish things were different. Actions of strangers have led to this massive disruption and have affected so many lives in return. I wouldn’t be here writing this normally. I would be on the phone with her. Just knowing that she is on the other end of the line helped me calm down. But this time I’m on my own.
It’s been a weird day. Nodding off here and there. Airline breakfast and lunch. Watched Avengers Endgame on the flight and got all misty eyed when everyone turns up to fight the army of Thanos. Such a powerful scene. Got dropped at the hotel. Lovely evening rain right before sunset. And that’s been it so far. I board my ship tomorrow and the next three months will be set in stone.
Adios. Thanks for listening.