Friday, November 12, 2004

Road Trip! Leg 1: a boat ride with noisy kids from hell

In Cat Carrier
Originally uploaded by Jepster.
The first part of the trip went on smoothly. I took a half day leave so that we could leave earlier. The starting port is just a few minutes away from the office but our travel agent booked us an earlier trip for the first boat ride so that we would not be in a hurry to catch the next ferry. We left after lunch and arrived at the port 10 minutes later.

After processing all the required formalities, (we needed a permit from the coastguard, a quarantine document for Brat where he was classified as a "Breeder Cat" -- haha yeah right...), we placed stickers on our clothes that identified us as part of a tour group then proceeded to board the ferry. We were one of the earlier cars to arrive so we were ushered to the back of the vessel to park the car. The cargo hold where the cars are parked is located at the lower portion of the ship with the upper sections for the passengers. There is an airconditioned room filled with seats at the center, more seats on the open air decks and an observation deck at the very top. We took Brat's cat carrier with us and settled on a bench inside the airconditioned room. Several TV screens were installed inside the room showing a local action movie. The room was starting to fill up and it was getting warmer by the minute. Probably the airconditioning system couldn't cope with the temperature outside. It was a rather warm day but once the ship got on its way, it was cooler outside with the sea breeze.

We were seated just behind a family with 2 or 3 young children. When they saw Brat inside his cat carrier, they became restless pointing at Brat and gesturing to somebody at the front. They were a bigger family than we initially though and soon a group of rowdy children were screaming and crowding us. Some of them were crawling underneath the seats so that they could get to our row. My brother was busy trying to fend off the frenzied kids (they appear to be in some kind of sugar high) while I was keeping my ears covered with my hands (I was trying to listen to my MP3 player playing an audio book of The DaVinci Code and I couldn't concentrate with all that yelling).

My brother finally got fed up of the little kids trying to poke the cat so he transferred outside. I was starting to get a bit stressed out at this point but fortunately they went away (presumably to wreak havok someplace else) when they realized that there was nothing of interest with a person ignoring them and with both hands covering his ears.

When I was finished listening with the chapter of the book I went outside to where my brother and Brat were enjoying the view and the refreshing salty air.

To be continued in "Leg 2: On a foggy damp night, let the signs lead the way"

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