Tuesday February 9th, 2010

Tuesday February 9th, 2010

Anxiously waiting my arrival in Oranjestad, Aruba

I try to avoid the window seat when I fly. The thought that I have to disturb at least two other people in order to get up and relieve myself burdens me. I much prefer an aisle, where I can drink copious amounts of water and get up to pee whenever I feel like it. Here is another variation of the classic airplane “wing shot.” I broke the rules and turned on my cell phone during our descent in order to get the shot.

Yesterday I joined the MS Maasdam, where I will be working as a Travel Guide for the next five months and seven days. The ship’s itinerary for the winter is the Panama Canal and Mexican Riviera, and my job is to be the consummate authority on the history, culture and tourist attractions for each and every port of call. Not an easy task, but definitely the type of work that doesn’t feel like work. The Travel Guide gives lectures on each respective port, has desk hours every day and a few social duties as well. When in port it is my job to get to know the local tour operators and familiarize myself with the locale. The fact is, I HAVE been to all of these places, more than once in fact. Another fact, I’ve never given a lecture in my life. But I ask myself. “How hard can it be?” I did the CATS show in German for God’s sake. I’m a singer/actor and yes I did CATS in German on and off from 1995 to 2001. I was in the German production of Les Miserables as well. Since that time this has become my benchmark in ascertaining the level of difficulty of any particular task. Is it harder than CATS?

No, giving lectures is NOT harder than doing CATS in German. As it turns out it’s much easier. That’s not to say I wasn’t shaking in my heels backstage. Today’s lecture “The Panama Canal: It’s History, Construction and the Future,” is by far the longest and most complicated in the lecture series provided to me by the corporate office. Today’s lecture is the precursor to tomorrow’s main event – the actual crossing of the Panama Canal. We’re scheduled to enter the first lock at 7:30AM. I will be back with photos and more tales from the sea.

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