Sunday, August 11, 2013

All The World's Your Lobster

There is a restaurant in Alcúdia which has long publicised itself as being a specialist in lobster. It is a restaurant owned by one of the port's dominant families. It is, as a consequence, a big name in matters of local nosebagging.

When a couple of hundred of the world's filthy rich pitch up on "The World", there would be, one would assume, a pecking order for enticing it to part with healthy wads in local eateries. One wouldn't be surprised if there had been some prior-to-docking invitations being forwarded to on-board handheld communications devices. Or perhaps protocol demands that such unseemly acts of publicity are frowned upon. It's rather as though royalty were going to be disembarking. It's simply not the done thing to be touting one's establishment so brazenly.

"The World" duly came to Alcúdia and duly left. Nothing of such size, in passenger terms, or of such seaborne wealth had ever been witnessed or hoped for in the admittedly short life of the new commercial port. What a sight it was. Sort of. "The World" doesn't really look like ships should be. Or as they used to be. Gone is a sleek arrow shape. One cannot distinguish between fore and aft, between bow and stern. "The World" wasn't designed so much as it was drafted by an architect, one familiar with the creation of multi-storey car parks and one who had spent too long as a small child using one part of an egg box to make a hull and placing piles of Ryvita in it to look like decks.

One assumes that the inhabitants of "The World" do, from time to time, live on land in houses like normal people (or probably in stately pleasure-domes like less than normal people). Or maybe they don't. As is said of the ship, it is constantly circumnavigating the globe, so perhaps the owners, i.e. the inhabitants and therefore residents, are a tribe of circumnavigational Kevin Costners in the endless search for Dryland and succeeding rather better than Costner's Mariner character in finding some.

What a bizarre existence it must be. They must get shore time or they would go mad. A claustrophobic world moving around the world with the sea as the back garden and the horizon as the view from the living-room. "The World" says that for the prices of a cabin - from 600 grand US dollars for the poor rich to 13 million dollars for the Bill Gateses - you get comfort from each other, "good company and lots of laughter". The maniacal laughter that is induced by cabin fever, of being too long before the mast, of being struck by a form of calenture and imagining the sea to be green fields and needing to throw oneself into it. There is presumably a permanent on-board team of psychologists, but who counsels them?

For three days the giant pile of white Ryvita was docked at Alcúdia's port. Now it has gone to continue its endless voyage, its many years mission to seek out new life and new civilisations, boldly going where no billionaires have gone before, which probably isn't accurate as they have been before. But few, if any, would have been to the new civilisation of Alcúdia before.

Where will it be heading? Not along the east coast of Africa past Somalia, one would wager. There is world and there is world. And the world is lobster-shaped.

Any comments to please.


Son Fe Mick said...

Hi Andrew
Been back in the UK for a bit and went to the port yesterday and I thought they had knocked down the power station and built a block of flats.....while I was away.
Went out on the boat with the grand children and then as we returned we saw the block of flats sailing buy. The bubbles from the rear of the boat were of Dom Perignon while the glare from all the Rolex's and bling was blinding.
How about converting an old container ship and starting an 'all inclusive' on the sea.
I think the idea has got legs, sea legs that is
Hope your keeping well

andrew said...

Block of flats sailing by - nice one, Mick. An all-inclusive at sea. Sounds like a prison ship. Which wouldn't, I suppose, be that far from how some all-inclusives must feel like.