World Sign
Vol. 91: A town floating on the sea
A town floating on the sea

It seems luxury liner holidays are popular these days, and I receive a lot of such holiday brochures. People stay on a liner for a number of days and go round tourist spots. I am not interested in such trips at all because the shore leave is restricted and also because “watching” early morning and evening forms an essential part of my overseas trips.
Having said that, I had a chance to experience a luxury liner holiday. My journey from Helsinki to Stockholm was by ferry across the Baltic Sea. The scale of the ship surprised me. It was more like a town floating on the sea than a ship. It was 12 stories high and complete with disco, hair salon and a swimming pool. The central part of the guest room area had a 6-story high vaulted ceiling, giving the impression of a shopping street lined with buildings. Signs along the side produced a lively atmosphere.
I raised a toast to celebrate the 5 o’clock departure in the afternoon with wine on the deck with my party, which went on to become an on-board drinking session. As soon as I got back to my room, I crashed onto my bed and fell asleep. I did not even wake up for dinner. When I finally woke up, it was three o’clock in the morning. After that, I just spent the rest of the early morning till dawn, gazing at the islands and cottages on them, which kept appearing in the twilight outside my window.
I was going to charge my digital camera on board, but I accidentally left my transformer in my suitcase. Once luggage is checked in on a ship, it cannot be retrieved on route, just like on an airplane. “A digital camera is just a box if it has no battery.” I was made keenly aware of this fact the following day.

(translated by Satoko Matsuoka)

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