Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cruising- Just getting there!

5am wake up. 
I will repeat 5am Wake up.!

Goes against nature no? Well, it goes against mine anyway! That's when I am usually going to bed ( or at least it was normal bedtime before cairo curfew kicked in anyway) 

But I am not complaining. (Well, only a little!). Today I flew to Istanbul, and then to Venice in order to join the MS Nieuw Amsterdam. A week on a HAL cruise ship. Yes, that's 'another' cruise within 3 months.  Why not? It's not as if the nightlife in Cairo is keeping me working daily is it?

In Turkey I went looking for an ATM and in the process, discovered an old Egyptian women having problems with a phone card because she didn't have any English at all and the girl at the desk didn't have any Arabic. I stepped in and offered my translation services. I am not fluent by any measure, but I figured I could help move them forward from where they were, thus, doing my good deed for the day and passing some of the 5 hour transit time in the process. 

I wish I hadn't. This woman looked me up and down with such disgust, even while I was helping her that I wanted to, well, I won't tell you what I actually wanted to do. But I restrained myself and managed to get her through to her grandson in Switzerland after much to- do. A smile? A shukran? Willa haga!! (Nothing !). Surely if you don't have a common language you use basic human interaction skills. A nice person would have. Anyone half decent would have. I tried my best, believe me. I can only assume she has had a very troubled life to turn her into that type of person. So I have decided to feel sorry for her. Why can't people just be nice? 

Anyway. Forgive the rant.

Who reading this has flown into Venice airport in daylight, or better yet, as I did today, in sunset? OMG stunning! If you have never done it, it needs to be on your bucket list!  It was nearly as awesome as arriving at sunrise into Venice on the top deck of the ship when I worked on the Noordam back in June. Tomorrow we have a 'scenic sail away' planned for noon. Having a bit of a love affair with this city! Mind you, I wouldn't want to live here. The prices are horrific. €45 just to taxi from airport to ship and I swear it was less than 20 mins on clear roads. I'll be heading to the euro shop to buy myself a mask for the masquerade ball on board tomorrow night!!

On board ship I was excited about getting to my room and meeting the entertainment manager to see what my dance duties would be. My room is a staff room. Seems I was spoiled last time getting a guest room. This is lovely enough... But doesn't compare with last time (and there's no fridge, so can't buy all the 'pig fat' that my Cairo roomie had requested!). So a little disappointing. That will teach me to be on a cruise that is running at full capacity! 

As for my dance duties. I have none until Saturday! So I guess tomorrow will be sightsee (aka shop!) in Venice in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon, before the Ball. I know, I know.... you hate me. Sorry. I know you may not believe me - but I'd rather have a class at least in the day. I feel somewhat at a loose end without a job to do! 

This evening what impressed me most was the ship's Piano man. Everyone was introduced on the big stage tonight and his line was "singing is like making love. Even if you are not very good at it , it makes you really happy when you do it!). I decided on that he would either be a big hit or a huge miss. I went along to see his act. It was the former.

 I love talent in people. Musicians, dancers, actors, painters, you name it... But when you see someone who can play piano well, at the same time as sing, not to mention play a passable harmonica (at the same time as playing piano but not whilst singing, he wasn't THAT amazing!!! ) then all of that is of course to be admired. But,what wowed me, To the point I stayed up for an hour longer than I had intend to watch, Was this man's stage presence, his charisma. 

He had everyone in the bar singing along and joking along, he knew most people's names within a very short time, but also so did we all. He had us cheering for each other. He turned a room of people into a friendly musical party. He did what I usually aim to do when I am on stage dancing, and certainly when I am teaching. He did it as thought it was the most natural thing in the world. Yet I see so many teachers and dancers who could really do with enjoying the entertainment aspect of Bellydance so that an audience enjoys as well as admires. The dance needs to be about and for those people watching, at least as much, if not more than it is for those doing it! If you are on stage it does anyway!

 That special something that every entertainer needs to stand out from the crowd. He has it. In bucketfuls. Do you? Do I? And if not how can we achieve that? (Hint- I believe the change has to come from inside our heads, rather than focusing on steps and combinations. About the reasons 'why' we dance!)

On that note, I'm heading to sleep. Hopefully my sleep will be as deep as my thoughts! (At least!!) 
I have set the alarm for 5 hours time so I can get up and join the stretch and abs class in the morning, but am thinking maybe I am being somewhat ambitious since I only slept 3 hours last night. hmmm

You know what?  If my only dilemma tonight before sleeping is working out when to fit in my 'gym time' into my 'Venice day',  life isn't too shabby, is it?!  

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