Lieutenant's Log #16
It's already been a week on "Color Fantasy" with 3 more weeks to go. The other ship is "Color Magic." Color Fantasy is actually the older of the two cruise ships. They're practically identical. The folks on this ship seem friendlier, less stressed or something.
My room is even smaller than the previous room, but I got creative with arrranging my clothes and being able to put my large suit case on one side of the clothes closet to allow for more floor space. Unlike my other rooom, I don't have access to using the space under the bed because it's blocked by a desk. However, I'm satisfied.
One day of voice rest helped a lot. However, the dry heat in my current room is giving me other voice issues. A humidifier would be a good idea, but it's pointless to buy one, except if there's money to burn and there isn't. I don't have the space to take it home with me. I'd have to throw it away or give it away. And sadly, the heating vent in my room doesn't allow me the ole wet towel trick. Regarding phlegm, I guess I should try vinegar. Blehhhh...
Since the climate is warming up, I've been taking daily walks in both Kiel and Oslo. It was always too chilly in Oslo. I recall my British friend Simon, who played in the pub on this ship a few years ago, preferred the Oslo walks. "They're more peaceful." He's right. They're very peaceful.
Yesterday was a day to remember. I had noticed that after six weeks, "Alabama's" hair was as nicely groomed as it was when I first met him. I asked, "Do you cut your own hair?" "No man, these Turkish dudes take care of me. Next time we're in Kiel, I'll take you around and show you some things. A walk on the wild side. We'll have a drink."
So about Alabama's hair... Imagine a tall black dude with a natural grey Mohawk with pineapple sides, sporting white eye glasses. An artist for sure. Alabama is professionally known as "King James." Soul, Rnb, Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. (He's long ago given up the hard stuff.)
We met on the other other ship. I heard someone shout out, "Hey NY!" He was referring to me. There was also another black guy, a classical pianist from New Orleans. We were since referred to as Alabama, NY and Nawlins.
Alabama is an ENORMOUSLY talented vocalist, guitarist. He started out on the "Chitlin Circuit" when he was twelve. He's lived and still plays all over the world.
Alabama's personality is almost as big as he is. In his presence, one has to default to either straight-man or sidekick. I was straddling both roles. He took me to this one little bar. The place felt like we had no business being there. But again, everyone defaulted to being straight-men and sidekicks. I didn't mention that I'm not a beer drinker, but sidekicks don't complain. I had a beer and listened to one outrageous story after another. It wasn't like he was trying to be discreet, I'm sure the whole bar could hear our conversation. Doing gigs for and befriending a grand wizard of the KKK was particularly high on the, "You're Kidding Me" list. I really wish I could share the details of our day and the stories, but dear Alabama is not dead yet. You'll have to wait. :)
Then he took me a barbershop to get a haircut. I had no idea that was part of his plan. "Take care of my friend here." The owner of the shop is a 15 year friend of his and the only one in the shop who could speak English. He translated, "Even it and take a little off."
I must say, the guy cutting my hair was a real artist. I could see a scimitar hanging on the wall, so I wasn't going to complain about anything. :) Seriously, it's the best haircut I've ever had. Alabama's treat. COOL!
We had to rush back to the ship. It was a great day.