Nov. 28th, 2006

My cousin is in town now, which is tremendously entertaining. We hung out in Ithaca until after noon, and then made our way over to Watkins Glen, looked at the waterfall, then zipped over to Hammondsport. Following a brief stopover at Bully Hill, mostly to admire their view, we picked up the 390 and took it up to the 90 and thenceward home.
For dinner we went down to the Century Grill downtown, our favorite bar, and Lo, Doppelcracker our favorite bartender was there. So we ate wings, and Andreas regaled us with wild tales of life as a seismic ship's crew member. He works on the supercomputers and mostly works on the data preprocessing, as the ship sonically images the ocean floor in a search for oil deposits.
They spent last summer working around Africa, which meant that crew changes were done via African cities. He had a low opinion of Nigeria in general, particularly Nigerian whores, who are very aggressive and also scary.

There was a businessman sitting at the bar at the next stool over from Andreas. As we were sitting at the corner, I was in this man's direct line of sight. He was alone, so he wasn't distracted by other conversation; I think he listened to our whole conversation. And his face when Andreas told the story of the Nigerian whore grabbing his dick was priceless. ("My first impulse was to punch her in the face but I thought I might get thrown out into the street if I did that," he said. "But really, it's just not a very good idea to do that to a guy, especially one who's just told you to get lost.")

Apparently a sailor's life has changed little. Andreas lives in Oslo, Norway; he walks around those streets every day when he is home. And yet when his crew came ashore in Oslo, suddenly they were surrounded by whores. Where, Andreas was wondering, did all these people come from? He'd never seen anything like that in Oslo before.

So when we suggesting a trip to Canada, and trying to think of what Buffalonians do in Canada, and the subject of the Canadian Ballet came up [Ontario having more lax blue laws concerning strip clubs than Buffalo, most people desiring such things cross the border to see them], Andreas laughed and indicated that he'd sort of seen rather a great deal of such things in a lot of cities around the world and really, would probably rather go to the casino.

An amusing side note is that due to difficulties doing the crew change at Houston this time, Andreas's luggage allowance was cut to 12 kilos, so he couldn't bring a jacket or boots ashore. So he bought a leather jacket in Houston. The leather jacket he bought is cut in much the same way as the leather jacket my father wears. Out of the corner of my eye throughout Ithaca I kept seeing my father walking there, and I'd turn my head and it was my cousin instead. Very distracting. But they're approximately the same size and shape, and have a similar stride.

Another tiny vignette from Andreas's time in Melrose:
My father's cousin Arthur came to visit in Melrose, and brought his son Andy.
Andy, to Andreas: Long time no see!
Andreas: Er, have we met?
Andy: Oh yes, we did. At the Catskills family reunion.
Andreas: ... Oh right. Um, we were four.
Andy: Yeah, long time no see.



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