Tuesday, September 06, 2011

We're not in Kansas anymore...Toto

I knew it is going to be one of *those* days when at 6:00 in the morning I was awaken by what I thought was a big bug landing on my cheek. Still mostly asleep I flicked the intruder quickly off my face only to see a small lizard scurry across the sheets. Welcome to the glamor of showbiz. Once again I am wondering why Ernest Hemingway did not shoot himself sooner.
The driver said he would pick me up at 8:00am so there was no going back to sleep before my pickup. I scoured the bedding for the invader and never found him. I am sure he is hiding in the mattress somewhere waiting for his next wake up call. Although creeped out a little I was not surprised. There seemed to be lots of reptiles crawling up the walls of the Ocean Terrace. I was hoping they preferred to stay outside, but in the intense heat you can't blame them.
I thought the pickup call was early. 8:00 is usually when the ship docks and it takes an hour or so to clear. I usually board around 11:00 so the pickup is never before 10:00 and I could see the dock from my hotel room no more than a five minute drive. The driver called the room at 7:45 saying he was ready, but as I looked out the patio the ship was not yet docked, it had just arrived. I asked him if this early boarding had been okayed by the ship, he said they were aware. I should have know that was not a definitive answer. But in my eagerness to get to my job, and thinking that I would have time for a nap on board getting there so early, I didn't much care at the time. I figured I would let the lizard have the room with out me bothering him.
The driver dropped me at the dock house which is nothing more that an open breeze way with a roof. The guard let me stay in the shade but said I would have to go through immigration before I could go to the ship which was about 200 yards away. He acted like he was giving me a perk by letting me stand out of the sun. And stand I did.
The immigration officer did not even show up before 9:45. There was nothing to do but wait it out. It was oppressively hot even at that time of day and I had to fan myself with tour fliers to keep from bursting into flames. I emailed the Production manager at 8:30. Fortunately I had his email address and my smart phone was getting a signal. He did not check his email before 9:30 because I was not due until 10 or later. They had no clue of my early arrival. Finally they sent a couple of production guys out for my luggage and soon the immigration officer showed up.
The story seems to be that my driver, who's name is Winston Johnson, we made a big deal about being related. is also a tour guide. He had decided to be there to catch the rush of passengers looking for a tour the minute the ship arrived. Since there was a Carnival ship arriving at the same time there was money to be made. Of course none of this was communicated to the ship and they were really angry at the port agent who arranged this transfer from the hotel. I'm not sure it was even his fault, this driver just decided to kill two birds with one stone and collect for taking me and be there for the windfall of business. Because he was dropping me off, he was able to be the first car in line for the tours. It was a perfect deal for him, and I wouldn't have a clue until he was already taking a load of tourist to see the reptiles of the island.
I guess it was self fulfilling prophesy when I had blogged about the difficulty getting onto a ship from a small Island. It is always new and different and this was not the worst, but close. It was mainly the heat... how do people live in that kind of oppressive heat?
I am on the ship but don't have wifi in my cabin so I am still not able to post yet. My shows are tonight so there is no time to go seeing the hot spots. However, the hottest spot I have ever found is the dock at the port of St Kitts. Tomorrow St Thomas, one of my favorite places, and one that I have been to what seems like hundreds of times. I have a ritual walk around Havensight that I do and might even get into town since I will be cargo for the rest of this segment of my week. I am hoping that the heat is not Caribbean wide and St.Thomas is a little more civil.
I am assuming that this is a lizard free cabin and I will get to sleep in tomorrow morning. It was an exhaustive red eye set of flights to get here yesterday. I'm beat.
As you were,

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