We're so close I can taste it. But it still will take until tomorrow morning to actually arrive.
This is what the "newspaper" looked like. People from different nationalities would get a paper representing their country left at their door. It was also possible to pick a specific newspaper from back home for $3.95 a day and have bits of it printed for one's reading enjoyment.
This was the daily newsletter which let everyone know where the various shows were taking place, what kind of dress was expected for dinner that night, and various other bits of trivia that I didn't read such as when you were expected to show up for immigration.
These ship maps appear all over the place and give you a sense of how massive it all is. Nobody would have been able to find anything without these useful charts.
It's the last full day on the boat and I have mixed feelings. On the one hand it'll be great to finally get back onto dry land. But I admit I've developed some attachment to this weird place that has been my home since Sunday. Whether it's the crowds of tuxedo adorned fellow travelers passing by in the hallways, the nonstop party atmosphere that exists in the many common areas, the endless amount of food that's always available (most of it pretty damn good too), or just the view onto the ocean that's ever present, I'll definitely have fond memories of at least some of it.
I got my first glimpse of land this evening. It was just a couple of lights that were pretty far away but it was a marked change from the last few days. Things will be very different from now on.
I've decided to stay up all night and greet the dawn along with the land. Plus, since they want us all up at 6:00 am and I have yet to wake up before noon, it just seemed like the smart way to go about it. Believe it or not, most everyone is staying for breakfast even though we will be docked at the time. Sure, why not? I'm in no hurry anyway.
A most extraordinary thing happened as the day wound down. I suddenly was able to get people to talk to the camera for the movie I've been involved in making. Everyone seemed a whole lot more relaxed and open. It had been like pulling teeth getting anyone to agree to be interviewed and it would have been a real shame not to get some representation from people onboard an ocean liner.
The movie project, incidentally, is called "Speakers' World" and it's inspired by the world renowned "Speakers' Corner" at Hyde Park in London where people basically just talk to anyone who will listen to them in a public setting. What we're doing with this project is giving that same ability to people all along the travel path of this worldwide voyage. We're looking for stories, opinions, anecdotes, jokes, you name it. One thing an awful lot of people seemed to have an opinion on was George W. Bush. I was actually quite surprised. Anyway, if you're interested in being a part of this project and you're in London, I'll be at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park on Sunday morning and probably at Piccadilly Circus sometime Monday afternoon - details forthcoming. Naturally we'll be gathering all kinds of material at What The Hack next weekend.
I'm going to go wander around the ship one last time and it would probably be a good idea to pack as well. Tomorrow will no doubt be an interesting day as I get to venture into besieged London on no sleep and ride the Underground as well. I must remember not to run if the cops yell at me. They just killed a guy on a tube train for doing just that. Hopefully he was also guilty of something. London is going to be virtually unrecognizable to me.