My globetrotting experience
My globetrotting experience
May 12, 2010
Life is a long odyssey, full of challenges and experiences both pleasant and unpleasant leading to adventures and misadventures which perfectly describe a sailor’s life. Being a sailors wife gave me the opportunity to be a globetrotter… Working as a market research executive for 3 years, I quit my job to sail with my husband that got me cruising to some of the most wonderful places in the world. The 3 voyages I made thus had been very eventful and memorable.
In the summer voyage of 2007, the vessel ‘Auk Arrow’ as it was called sailed to Australia. The ship followed a coasting schedule which meant that the ship would disembark in port every few days and offload part of its cargo in each port. There were around 10-12 ports on the schedule. Among the bigger ones were Townsville, Adelaide, Brisbane, Portland and Gladstone. The first port that the ship berthed at was that of Townsville.
The city of Townsville houses the infamous Great Barrier Reef aquarium. It is a live aquarium and my tour to the aquarium was very fulfilling and informative. At a very short distance from the aquarium was the local bazaar popularly known as the flea market where the local artisans
displayed their beautiful works of art on the streets and where all shops were seen flocked by people. I also headed there along with a friend for the wonderful shopping experience. Every shop and kiosk had different items on display. Especially the traditional ones like the boomerang, the Didgeridoo, the Aboriginal artistic pieces and other trinkets caught our fancy. They were absolutely fantastic and we made sure we bought at least one piece from every shop and moreover took pictures of them all. At the end of our shopping spree me and my friend both grabbed a bite at the McDonald’s and settled into our chairs, relaxing and waiting for the cab. This was the time when something struck me hard…that something in my sack was missing. After rummaging my sack I discovered that it was my camera. Hundreds of thoughts were racing in my mind now…It was a Sunday afternoon and the shops were shutting for the day. How was I going to trace my camera? It had all the rarest pictures which once lost would have been lost forever. Did I have the gut to tell my husband that I lost something so valuable? There was very less time on hand since the ship was to sail out of Townsville very soon. At this point I had no time to waste, the cab was on its way and I had to think quick and fast to find some solution. I quickly scurried back to the street and while hopping from one shop to another, a street vendor seemed to hear me inquire about my camera. He shouted out to me and to my surprise he knew had information about the camera. He was selling items in front of the same shop which was shut now. I quickly noted down the contact no of the shop owner. In the meanwhile there were some cops in sight who were on their regular round-ups. They assisted me with the telephone calls and thus I was able to convey to the shop owner that I was on the lookout for the camera. The shop owner agreed to drive down back to his shop to return my camera. Another hour’s wait and to my greatest surprise he was actually opening his shop. He handed over the camera to me. I had no words to thank him. I expressed my gratitude to him thus proceeding towards the port. Had I panicked and returned to ship, I’d have probably lost those beautiful pictures forever. With this incident I would like to focus on the point that thinking constructively and acting promptly to an adverse situation especially in an alien landcan help solve problems quickly.
Just a month after this incident the vessel sailed to China, and berthed into the port of Shanghai. In a technologically advanced city and with its magnificent edifices which are a testimony to its technological advancement and infrastructural development, I had a contrast experience in Shanghai. One evening while shopping in the streets of Nanjing I got robbed. My wallet which contained my debit card, my driving license and some cash was all gone. But this time reporting the robbery would have been a futile attempt since the Nanjing Street walk was an extremely long one with hundreds of tiny shops in it. Tracing my valuables would have been an uphill task
The above two incidents gave me two completely contrasting pictures of the two respective countries. Some research done later revealed to me that “The Australian Crime and Safety Report of 2009″ confirms that the urban crime rate in Australia is comparatively low in 2009 and road safety is high while the April 2009 Shanghai Daily report reveals that pedestrian robberies are on the rise in Shanghai which is evident in my story.
About the Author
Didgeridoo – Jeremy Donovan, Aboriginal Artist
[affmage source="ebay" results="10"]Aboriginal Art didgeridoos[/affmage]