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I Feel Like Ritchie Tenenbaum on the Cote d’Ivoire

It gets lonely on the top floors of the Indonesian ferry liner Umsini. Nobody sails first or second class because it’s cheaper to fly, but the lower class levels are chock full wall to wall with rows of passengers.

I was feeling flush and in need of some me time so I bought a 2nd class ticket, in a four-bunk room. But I’m the only person in the room. In fact, I’m the only passenger I can find on either this or the deck above.

This lends a creepy air of abandoned 1970’s luxury. When I leave my quarters I feel like I just awoke on the Mary Celeste.

But one passenger is still a passenger, and so the banquet hall for 1st and 2nd class is set just for me (actually it was set for 3 people but I never saw anyone else. Perhaps the other spots were for Elijah and his +1). And the entertainment (photo at top) performed for me and the staff as they shined spoons and drank tea.

Port seats. Three of them.

It’s been a very pleasant 30 hours. I’ve caught up on reading, photos, journal, and spent considerable time chatting with young boys on the deck. And of course watching the sun come up and go down over shifting, rippling sea dunes. And spent considerable time in my closed capsule too, the kind of closet I find so cozy.

I have to imagine that it’s only a matter of time before Palu, Sulawesi to Tarakan, Borneo becomes one of the great cruise routes of the world. I hope so anyway, as I’ve invested everything I have in this. Finally, a get-rich-quick scheme that can’t possibly fail.

One Trackback

  1. By Alone but not lonely: the introverted traveler | American Observer 4 May ’13 at 2:34 pm

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