How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

On the Yangtze, Day 16, Part 6 (Shibaczhai Pagoda)

68 Comments


We woke at 6:25, dressed without showering and headed for early breakfast. After the cancelled excursions the past two days, I noticed passengers appeared antsy to go on the Shibaozhai trip, scheduled for 7:45 a.m., weather permitting. No cancellation was announced at breakfast. By the time we arrived in our rooms, a reminder blared over the PA to anyone leaving the ship to pick up a ship’s pass. The tour was on.

or

Shibaozhai Pagoda Images

Sue proceeded to take a shower after breakfast as I plopped into the chair at the desk. The outing hadn’t interested me because of the damp drizzle with or without an umbrella.

My heart stopped. I glanced out the balcony doors and gulped. A ship coasted towards us and I knew we were going to crash. I leaped to my feet. I don’t know why. Not unlike a pillar of cement, I froze poker straight expecting the inevitable crash. We were going to die and there was nothing to do about it.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

The drifting stopped mere inches away. How did they do that? Everything trickled rain: the balcony floor, the railings and chairs. I read the name on the side: President Cruise. It was smaller than ours, old and rusty. Curtains hung haphazardly missing hooks on rods. Clothes lines strung with laundry crisscrossed inside the rooms so close I could have reached across and pulled them off—maybe not quite—but too close for comfort. The Chinese passengers who came out on the back deck (the poop deck, I think) to see what was happening didn’t appear well-off.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

A third ship moved alongside the second one, bigger than both of us: the Century Emerald. It drew closer and closer. The curtains pulled back, windows on the main deck revealed a fancy dining-room featuring round tables draped with milk-white cloths and bright yellow chair covers featuring bows on the back. The third ship floated towards the one between us. I waited for the crunch. It didn’t come. I watched a female cleaner (maid?) wipe down the railings on one of the balconies. What a hard worker, but why bother with this useless task?

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

The fumes were suffocating and the engines noisy even through the closed door.

The Chinese boat moved away in the opposite direction. Once again I held my breath as the Century Emerald inched towards us so close I could almost touch their balcony railings if I stepped out and leaned forward. A few curious international passengers on the Emerald watched us for a while. I wondered which of us were watchers watching the watchers. Soon, they returned to their rooms and closed the curtains. Maybe we weren’t that interesting.

The temperature in our room reached a high of 24, the highest since we boarded. I opened our curtains and doors again for fresh air, but not for long. The noisy engines were deafening. Why run them? Weren’t we anchored? The ships remained side-by side like strangers on a first date.

Sue lay on the bed reading with her swollen feet up on the headboard (actually the mirror above it). She’d suspected the moveable bubble above her toes might be blood. If she’d had a needle, she’d have drawn out the liquid. I suggested she see the ship’s doctor, but she refused.

Twice in ten minutes, Housekeeping came to make up our room. We offered to do it ourselves, but that wasn’t allowed. I noticed I’d become lazy since we boarded. What’s wrong with some down time after all the running around we did the first eight or nine days after our arrival in China?

A Captain’s Bridge Tour was announced over the PA, but I felt too lazy to move. Maybe I was still feeling the effects of our near crash. A different language presentation was scheduled every quarter hour from 10:00 to 11:15 in French, English, Chinese, Spanish and German—not specifically in that order. The interruptions soon became a nuisance.

* * *

Next on January 23rd: On the Yangtze Day 16, Part 7 (Ghost City and Stairway to Hell) + More

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Right Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie

Advertisements

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

68 thoughts on “On the Yangtze, Day 16, Part 6 (Shibaczhai Pagoda)

  1. Scary near collisions. Sounds like you needed the downtime, nothing wrong with that at all. 🙂

    Like

  2. It is fascinating how lethargy can set in the less you do. I wondered if there’s a chemical reason for t? maybe all those fumes. Reading the last few posts there’s an interminable feel to never getting off the boat, like you in a loop. A bit like an Iain Bankes novel called ‘The Bridge’ here the main character never seems to stop crossing this bridge. It becomes spookier and spookier. Is that what we are in for, I wonder?

    Like

    • I’m not surprised you noticed. It’s been a drag with the rotten weather and being cooped up with no-where to go. Another post or two and I’ll be back on Terra Ferma. Thanks so much for your comments. I’m pleased you’re paying attention. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ever since you boarded this ship I have been waiting for something bad………………. I hope that was the worst of it!

    Like

    • As you can see nothing much has been happening. About all those cruise ships, I don’t think that was an accident waiting to happen. There must have been a reason but, of course, no-one tells the passengers anything.
      The lethargy and boredom will be replaced soon. ❤

      Like

      • I hope the replacement is not danger filled drama!!!!

        It doesn’t sound like, in China, they feel a need to explain anything to anyone.

        Like

      • Everything is hush-hush. I’m not sure this was a mistake at all. Most likely there was some good reason for it. I just realized the rest of our group had gone on the outing and don’t even know about this ‘happening’ till they read it on my blog. 😀 😀

        Like

  4. Well, I’m glad the ships didn’t crash into yours, but if they had, it probably would’ve nipped that lethargy and ennui in the bud. Switched it to chaos and panic. 😉

    Like

  5. No crashes, though river captains surely do know their stuff. Kinda exciting when you think about it. You had my heart going for a minute there.

    Like

  6. I have witnesses something similar in Greece but these skippers seem to know what they are doing. Looks like a lot of rain! Is there a high rainfall average in that part of China?

    Like

  7. The windows in that other boat look like some sleazy motel! Glad it didn’t crash, amazing how they control that with those huge vessels in water! It sounds like this boat wasn’t the most fun part of the trip. I see from the other comments that you’ll be back on land in a couple of posts! 🙂

    Like

  8. Being a naughty cynical kind of girl, I wonder if its a ‘let’s see how many tourists will scream’ game 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Like

  9. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    This week’s post about the cruise on the Yangtze by Tess on How the Cookie Crumbles reads more like Pirates of the Caribbean… close encounters with other ships (for comfort) stifling heat but the stunning Red Pagoda…. love it.

    Like

  10. Great job as always Tess and I have nominated you in my award today fully aware that you are award free. All my awards from now on will also have a bouquet of flowers included that you can accept instead…. they also are a token of my love and respect for your kindness to me and others here on WordPress.. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/the-award-season-continues-with-the-the-hearts-as-one-drum-beat-award/

    Like

  11. Tess, you truly have the heart of an adventurer. Mega-hugs! ❤ 😀

    Like

  12. Sounds like a traffic jam at port! Traveling can be exhausting. Down time is a good thing.

    Like

  13. Tess this cruise is beginning to sound like a test of nerve patience and endurance!! 😉 ❤

    Like

  14. I´m sure it was good to have some down time.

    Like

  15. How scary and yet thrilling, all this adventure!

    Like

  16. Tess – I love the drama and knowing I’m not the only one that gets antsy cooped up aboard a ship. I like the additional descriptive visuals you gave us with this posting.

    Like

    • 😛 😛 A friend asked if I’d go on a cruise with her but I can’t see spending all that money to fly, sail, stop at different places for a while and fly home again in 8 days.
      I want to go to New Orleans but my friend and I can’t co-ordinate our calendars. Sheesh.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Apart from small fishing boats, the only one of reasonable size Ive been was a junk, over night on Halong Bay, Vietnam. Glad you and Sue got out this pickle unharmed. x

    Like

  18. I know from my daughter’s time aboard a Cruiser that ships can get awfully close without a problem. She had a word for it, but it escapes me. Looking forward to the next installment.

    Like

  19. I love being on a boat/ship for short cruises, but since I can’t swim, this kind of thing would set me on edge.

    Like

  20. A near crash would be scary!! Glad it all worked out okay.

    Like

  21. Loving your tale here Tess. The suspense you weave into your stories never seizes to capture my attention all the way through. The approaching ship would have scared the bejeebees out of me too! Glad you are home safe. 🙂

    Like

  22. Your time on the ship seems kind of interminable. I probably would have been stir crazy. I’m very bad with down time and ‘not doing.’

    Like

  23. Wow, scary! I agree about feeling antsy when you’re on a boat for any length of time. We went on a cruise years and years ago – it was the Canberra just back from the Falklands and the cabins were basic to say the least although it was supposed to have had a refurb. The first thing I did was buy an air freshener 😀 I think that put me off cruises. Thanks for sharing the pagoda pictures – it looked amazing!

    Like

  24. Yikes, what a frightening experience. So glad the crash was averted. Hopefully you still had some of that wine left in your room…that’s where I would have headed, ha 😀 You tell it so well Tess, I think I need to get a glass myself…and it’s only 2.45 in the afternoon, LOL 😀 😛 🙄

    Like

  25. My goodness! All the memories you have.

    Like

  26. You had me captivated with your cruise ship experiences here…thank you. 🙂

    Like

  27. Wow. It sounds like the boats are preparing for a drag race.

    Like

Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s