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BILL'S TRAVELS

Welcome to Bill's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Location: The WHOLE ENCHILADA, India

SUNDAY

I woke this morning at 8-am and went down to the MAYFAIR for their buffet breakfast. Wheatabix this time and an omelet. fresh orange juice. Spent a little time in the cafe and met a lovely fellow from Sri Lanka who's been my waiter for the last few days. Showed him my website and heard about his country.

I settled my bill which was 105 Rials. A little bit more than I had anticipated but I have been her for 3+ days, massage, snorkeling, city tour, a few meals. So $300.00 seems about right. Luckily, SEABOURN pays for the room and all my meals. This is a fantastic 5 star hotel and one of the nicest and most relaxing. they keep postponing my ride to the airport, third time now, so instead of noon, when I originally came down stairs it is at 1pm. There are just so many diet cokes and cappuccinos you can take before a flight. They are here early now, 12:45. Off to the airport. to Dubai for overnight.

6:3pm Arrived at my hotel. THE AMBASSADOR. Incredible airport. Modern, efficient, smooth transition into Dubai. Met at airport by a uniformed fellow, led me thru visa check, bag claims, joined 3 Russian sailors to go to our hotel. took about 1/2 hour to get to hotel. near the Creek.

Ventured out and strolled near the creek, jumped in a water taxi and the guide took me solo to the bridge and back for $100.00. I think it was about twice what it should have been but it was magical. Wandered through a SOUQ with a lot of textiles and then went to my hotel to have dinner in the restaurant, AMBY'S. Pretty mediocre India Chicken Tikka Massala. Came up to my room and checked my emails. Still not sure when I board the ship tomorrow but I'm ready.

MONDAY

The day started with breakfast in my room, a shower and a call to the port agent to find out when I was to be downstairs to head to the ship. Finally at 10:3-am I was told to come downstairs, the driver was ready to take me. I got down there and was told that I would not be joining the cruise until Tuesday am.

Hooray!. A day in Dubai. I immediately ran upstairs and flew out into the streets. I decided to do a BIG BUS double decker driver around the city since I had not a clue of the layout and I'm glad I did. It cost 200 which was about $70.00 I think but it was worth it. Got on at the Fort/Dubai museum, took the red line and jumped on the blue line to the beaches, WOW and then back to the fort, Basketia section and then a sunset cruise on the creek in a Dhow.

Both the boat ride and the museum tickets were included in the bus fare so it was a great way to see allot of Dubai. IT IS MIND BOGGLING!. so new, spread out, so much construction, so many gorgeous buildings, I don't know where to start.

TUESDAY

Woke at 6:00am with a wake up call and my alarm. I was not going to be late for my first day of actually going onboard ship,. Ordered room service, showered, packed, got downstairs at 6:45am. The place was mobbed with others who were also joining the SPIRIT. Mostly Germans, Phillippinos, Brits and myself. I felt a little like Grandpa but that was ok. After waiting about an hour in the lobby, working on my pics from yesterday we all got into a van and headed to the cruise ship dock, passing the QE2. Much better view from right under it than yesterday on the BIG BUS.

They did not seem to have my name on the list of crew so I hung for a bit and then a nice fellow ushered me on board. Barry Hopkins, Cindy and Elaine's friend from London could not have been nicer and welcomed me onboard, Met Marla, from U.S. and a fellow who plays guitar from UK. Had a bit of breakfast and met Margaret and her lecturer husband from UK. Fell in love with them both as well as another couple from UK. B and M. Marlene i think. I just remember BM. DON"T ASK. Returned to my suite and unpacked, hung clothes that had been smashed for a week and got the lay of the land, It's 1pm now and passengers are set to board no and have an EMBARQUING RECEPTION in the theatre, which I also saw

It's lovely, with a raked audience in comfy LR chairs, very casual ann nice. 2 aisle that lead to the stage. Seats about 150 maybe? Had a wander, checked out Leona Lewis' CD and KITE RUNNER DVD. Showered, and I'm ready for a bite of lunch and a stroll. I'm supposed to meet up with Danny, from the Philippines, my accompanist this afternoon sometime.

So far I'm loving the whole experience. Even the week of anticipation was fantastic leading up to today. We are not stopping in MUMBAI for obvious reasons and will go to GOA instead. My first show is on the 5rh which I believe is Thursday night. Not sure which show I'll do first. Depends on Danny and my chemistry I think. Make that decision after we meet and sing a few tunes together,.

Chris leaves tomorrow I think. I hope I get to hear him perform before he leaves. The afternoon I spent in my cabin, relaxing, watching THE KITE RUNNER, not as good as the book surprisingly, fixing CLORIS's earrings, going over music with Danny, lunch from room service - club sandwich, brownie and diet coke and I've just returned from a fire drill on deck 7.

Since this is Dubai's FOURTH OF JULY, there are supposed to be fireworks celebrating their 37 years of being the UAE. i think. Well I missed them. Went to dinner and sat with a lovely couple from Manchester, England Donald and Jane, a dentist and his wife in their 60's. Great conversation and a great meal. Salmon, pepper soup, shrimp appetizer, cobbler for desert. I checked the email but it is so expensive and slow that I don't think I'll be on very much. stopped off at the lounge to hear Barry, Marla, Sam, Danny and his band. Chris came up to my room and chatted a bit and got his diary that he had left in Salalah. I'm gonna watch SEX AND THE CITY and crash. Great first day.

WEDNESDAY.

I had a fantastic night's sleep but awoke at about 6:30 am and finished SEX AND THE CITY I was quite surprised that I liked it as much as I did. The writing, acting, styling and directing were all impressive and I thought they improved on the TV experience, After that I took my ironing down to the launderette, which is tiny and just below me and also did a load of laundry. Exchanged some DVD's and CD's and had breakfast with a couple from Australia. He has a pony tail and tattoos and they both have accents. Another gay couple knew them and introduced themselves as Allen and Keith. Chris joined us and then i returned to take my laundry out to the dryer and write some post cards.

At 9:30am Chris and I went on shore to the little shop under the dock. Bought some Christmas gifts with the left over Riels that i had and came back on board for an 11am bon voyage on the top deck. A few margaritas later and I am back in my cabin for a nap. I'm thinking of learning to play bridge at 3 and hope to rehearse with Danny this afternoon.

WOW. We have hit an ice-burg!. My rehearsal with Danny was a disaster. Barry asked me to come to the card lounge to talk with him and Danny. It seems that I don't have good enough charts. Danny wants to add the rest of the band and after singing with him I understand why. He is in way over his head. Not familiar with FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, LA MANCHA, BEING ALIVE. Not sure what we are going to do but I need a glass of wine, quick. My first show is tomorrow at 6:30pm now. It will probably be a constructed show of the numbers that Danny can handle. Nothing with improvisations, hand written charts, etc. WOW. THis is a true test of my professionality.

Tonight is Black Tie FORMAL night so after dressing for dinner I wandered down to reception and noticed that the Captain's WELCOME toast was about to being in the theatre. I joined 4 lovely ladies from New York and met the Captain, Engineer, Hotel Manager etc. I then went to directly to dinner and asked to be seated with any guests that wanted company. i sat first and was joined by Shale and Yvette from Cleveland, Ohio, Norelle and Bill from Australia and Jeremy from NYC. He is a guest lecturer and producer for NY1 and loves the theatre. Wonderful dinner of Chateaubriand, salad, Grand Marnier soufflé. Excellent food and company.

Chris's show began at 10pm and I joined James from Australia and his 2 female companions. Chris has a real gift for Noel Coward delivery and is a marvelous musician/pianist. Very bright and charming.

Since Danny and I are going to rehearse at midnight i went back to my room to prepare. He finally called at 12:15 and cancelled the rehearsal and postponed it until 1pm tomorrow. After he stopped by to pick up my book I watched a little of Babel and hit the sack

THURSDAY December 4, 2008

MY SEABOURN CRUISE DEBUT morning. I woke at 5:30 am and decided to go up to Deck 7 to see the stars. The Captain's nest was shocked, I think to see me climb up the stairs in the front of the ship. I seemed to set off some sort of internal warning because there were 2 lanterns and a man in pajamas stumbling around inside in the dark within 2 minutes. Staring at the stars to let them know I was not a early morning Pirate i went below to the main deck to sit and watch the sunrise. Allen and Keith soon appeared and went for their 16 lap walk in the gorgeous new light of day.

The stars disappeared around 6am and the clouds toasted to a warm orange glow at about 6:15am. The sun appeared at 6:34am while i was walking and vocally warming up on the lap deck. What a wonderful way to start the day. Especially this day. My debut day. I feel as thought the ship was saying relax. All is going to be fine and get ready for a long relationship together.

Back in my room now and realized I did not put the room service breakfast card on my door so I have to go to breakfast in the Veranda on 7. Thinking about going into Salalah on my own to just see the city before I have to come back around noon.

Chris met me at Danny's room while I was picking up FIDDLER and LA MANCHA and we went into the theatre to rehearse. FIDDLER went fairly well, but Chris, out of insecurity, complained allot about the charts, even though it was xeroxed from the score. When we got to LA MANCHA he sort of flipped out and took anything I said super personally and we ended up having a confrontation, with him threatening to just say f--k it and not HELP ME OUT. He was after all doing me a favor and was not being compensated for it. I tried to apologize but no matter what I said it all came back to HIM. I even confessed about the first night when he phoned his agent who phoned SEABOURN in Florida who phoned my agent in London who phoned me in Salalah, Oman to express horror that I did not have charts. I wanted to keep that out of the relationship but somehow it came up. So we parted cooly with me making a decision that he would help me out on FIDDLER only. He does play that beautifully, even thought he was only sight reading it.

I took the first shuttle bus at port-side to the center of Muscat to their SOUQ, which was fantastic . Great stuff and great prices. Sat with Keith and Allen and wandered on my own Caught a shuttle back to ship in an hour and a half and had a pasta lunch and am resting before my 1pm rehearsal with Danny, Dennis (sound and lights) and hopefully Barry, and maybe Chris? Not sure if he will attend. He does want to go over it before tonight tho, which is good.

4:30pm and rehearsal has ended. What a nightmare. i have never been so shocked at the lack of ability by someone backing me up or playing under me. no support it's almost as if he learned how to play piano last summer. no sense of keeping things moving or making music and Danny is having trouble reading what is written on the page. Plus he is not familiar with the classics such as Some Enchanted Evening, Lucky to be Me, No Business like Show Business. Who knew? Anyway rehearsal started at 1 and we did not start singing until 1:45 because the piano was not in the right place, there were really no lights, sound was LOUD, Alvin is helping out on bass and is a doll but also out of his element I think Not as far off as Danny but not in the same ballpark as I am. Tonight will be interesting. time to check egos at the door and concentrate and try to have a good time. I'm sure the peeps will Love what ever we present them. No apologies necessary. I'm gonna take a tub, as Denise would say and maybe try to have some pasta before the show. LUCK BE A LADY TONIGHT.

It's after the show and it was not as bad as it could have been. I was sent on with my mic turned off so we got off to a great start but the guys did great and I think were surprised that we pulled it off and made magic tonight. So was I. No train wrecks except for the opener and the mic fiasco. All my friends showed up and it's true that connecting with people brings them in to your show. not many strangers there. I'd say I had about 60 people tonight. Show was exactly 45 minutes. could have used one more song but I don't think we had it in us. I'm happy with it and I'm gonna go sing with Sam in the jazz show tonight.


Just back from Jazz night in the lounge. Sam entertained as well as the rest of the staff entertainers. Chris was there but steered clear of me. Barry also.
I met some lovely Australians. Bronwyn, her friend, Lynn and Harry from DC and the lovely couple with the pony tail. have to remember their names. Peg, photographer and Renee from Toronto. Feeling like I could get used to this, if I had my own musical director.

FRIDAY The Morning After

I've had some time to let things settle and it's hard for me to see all that went well last night. I will start with what bothered me about last night and then promise that I will try to concentrate on what went right. First of all my bio that Mark and I put together never was sent to the ship, my CHARTS were not the kind of CHARTS that these musicians could read, No one said anything about a CD to welcome the audience into the theatre. I quickly ran to the library and got the only instrumental I could find. JOE SAMPLE , Barry sort of disappeared in the 11th hour. maybe that was a good thing, He originally got involved when danny probably complained to him about the problem of my CHARTS. He kept insisting that we have the whole band behind me, and now I see why. Danny could not hold it up by himself, Alvin bravely tried to help and the other 2 musicians, drums and lead guitar just never showed up. Barry suggested that they be paid for all the extra work they would have to do in rehearsing and coming up with their own CHARTS. I volunteered to pay them if that's what it would take but Barry backed down then. He gave me the early show a day early and promises that I will have another half show before the cruise ends. not quite the deal i signed on for but he is the boss. Starting with being handed the hand mic turned off for my entrance was the first thing that went South. then I screwed up Smiling as you watch the theatre filling, A new way to love first not live, forgot Frank Wildhorn and Jekyll and Hyde bit, Did not get into the groove with Danny on the chorus to HONEYSUCKLE. let him finish solo and jumped on at the bridge,Danny and Alvin's exit had to prod them off, transition into Sunrise needed vamp underneath, How to eat, how to sleep quicker into rich man after stool drag, really out of tradition and under the monologue was a void, first part of Star was clumsy, memory had no forward urgency and Danny was not in the pocket or at least in the same pocket as me, top of Memory was too soft, also one guy commented that it was strange to hear a man sing that song,grizabella is so frail. I forgot to do NO BUSINESS even in a turkey that you know will fold repeated first verse, button of show from band was non existent. encore was stagnant and not sung because of the lack of momentum. forgot to thank dave on sound and lights, lights seemed a bit off and the smoke in Fiddler number was not necessary, bird could have been louder and more present to make the bit succeed. Good idea though. danny did not drive the show, especially then ending into the closer. i had to ask him to start it. final button was not there on broadway, into into Some enchanted evening. keep it driving forward. too bogged down,
Actually, that's not bad. Now for the things that went right: Danny and Alvin actually made lovely progress from the day's rehearsal. the timing was pretty spot on ending after 45 minutes. maybe could have used one more song and quicker pacing and patter but I was thrilled with the final curtain time. Fiddler went well, Swing on a star felt right, also luck be a lady Sad that that's all I can think of. Very hard on myself.

Woke at about 5:30 am and wanted to get up. Pretty standard for a morning after a performance. My mind is still fresh and recalling the evening, in all it's RICHNESS is easier. Decided to finish BABEL, great movie that was thought provoking and very sad about human frailty and suffering and life's complexities. Loved the supporting cast especially and the direction. Chinese girl and Mexican actress were superb. I then decided to return my CD's, I've about exhausted their supply of CD's since I refuse to check out Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest hits or listen to Yanni or Julie Andrews' newest release. Then I went on deck 7 to continue the second day of my cruising tradition. A sunrise walk for half hour around the deck. Back to my room for 7:30 room service delivery of my eggs and then I had a nap till noon. remembered that the TRIVIA gathering in the the CLUB on Deck 6. Lots of fun and I seem to be drawn to Australians. Jane and Donald invited me to join their team, the WOMBATS and I sat next to a Sydney couple named David and Linda. Also Jane, Donald, Bill, Yvette, Norelle. I came in handy for the music question "who was Nora Jones' famous father?" Ravi Shankar, and a couple of the reindeer's names. Had lunch with Wayne, the bridge guy from Toronto and his friend Mary from New Orleans. Interesting conversation and they could not have been nicer. My little couple that I just want to sprinkle sugar on and have for breakfast from Australia were there and told me they spoke to Barry this morning and raved about my concert, especially the UNPLUGGED novelty. that was unique to most and it seemed to strike a chord. Chris rushed past me, alone to sit on the outside terrace. Did some emailing, stopped off at the card room to watch some bridge but only stayed for a half hour because I felt like i was intruding. Corrine from Saratoga, CA, Margaret or MRS. MARPLE, the ambassador's lecturer's wife, Kathleen WU and her husband Hong Kong WU from Florida.
early on Margaret motioned me to come to her side quickly, it was urgent. She had scribbled a note and it read - "his fly is open, I think", meaning Wayne, the bridge guy and resident Mr. French. i whispered in his ear and later she insisted that I give he that piece of paper, but I had scrawled names on it so she made me at least scratch out the message. ADORABLE.
Stopped in to try to make contact with Barry, but no luck. left him a message. Need to know what is next for me and how to proceed. came up to my room and am relaxing before I host my first table tonight. Not sure what that entails but I'm game. Lots of strangers have said they enjoyed the show which is encouraging, since I thought it was only my new friends that had attended. Also at breakfast a lovely couple , the OSWALDS as in Kennedy's assassin, stopped me to say they enjoyed me very much. Don't remember their names but they were sweet.
also last night I met Henry and his wife? from D.C. she's a lulu. Joanne Dunn next door neighbor.
5:39 PM and I just got in from clearing the air with Barry, Chris, Danny. Barry and I went up to the lounge and had afternoon tea and discussed last night. He strategically talked about what was good about my show and the future with me and cruising. Good entertainer, great voice, connect with audience, NEED SIMPLER ARRANGEMENTS so they can be rehearsed and put together in on hour. David Carter in London will do them. cheap. Unplug the piano and turn down bass on UNPLUGGED NUMBERS. put tux back on after FIDDLER, NO swigging out of water bottles, use a glass, try to reach out and touch the audience early on, maybe second or third song,Honey Suckle? throw away song, don't drag stool with mic in Fiddler with ass to audience, he didn't like that, always check mic before entering, maybe a couple of jackets for variety.

I have an interview with Chris and Barry tomorrow at 11:30pm and a 12:15 rehearsal with danny in theatre. Full show would be Monday in Goa and half would be Sunday night with magician. Things to ask for free internet, free excursions,

Tonight was the first night of HOSTING a table and I was not sure what was in store for me. I arrived super early. Actually the waiters were all in the hall waiting to be inspected because aI was a half hour too early. I was not called until 7:30pm so I went to the lounge and sat with Elaine and Jane from San Francisco. i liked them both and we had a lovely chat. Dinner was next. I was the first to arrive at the table. I sat between two singles, Dr. Alison from Brisbane, a warm widower who loves to travel who is a Dr. and Socioliagist. Renee Adison from Toronto, whom I met at my show last nite. She is a Musical theatre junkie, tap dancer and retired Air canada employee who I promised to meet at yoga tomorrow at 8 at the spa. We chatted all nite and left together to catch the magic show. Mark from London. Funny looking comedian, magician who was OK. Just OK. Also at our table was Keith and Allen who are my faves, Stanley and Helene from Palm Beach, Florida and Marie and Robert from Bruissels, did not get to know them much but they were nice. Also James with the white streak from Australia was in the magic show.

Long day, good day, grateful, grateful.

SATURDAY

Danny, my pianist called at 4am in a confused state, saying that he laid down and missed our rehearsal. I let him know that it tomorrow at 12:15pm. Odd, no? I could not really get back to sleep so at 7:30am, when room service rang the doorbell I was shocked that it was morning already. It could be also that we gained an hour the other day and a half hour last night. Time zones. After oatmeal I set off for the spa to join Rene at yoga which isn't today, but there is an abs workout at 9. think I'll skip that and opt for a walk around the deck. Nice and warm, a little balmy, clammy and I saw the Wus, Allen and Keith, Checked my emails got a couple DVDs and filled out my forms for the port in India. Still not sure about Monday's concert.

Typed out a blurb about ALL OF ME and left it with a BIRDLAND poster for Barry in his office. Listened to a lecture about the OIL IN TROUBLED WATERS by Margaret's husband Robert. rather dry but nice. Did an interview with Chris and Barrry in the theatre . I ran to trivia in the lounge and back to my room,. In horror I realized I was a half hour late for my rehearsal with Danny. He was there, workng with the tape and maybe it was the best thing that could have happend. Hopped on with ONE FOR MY BABY and iI couldn' believe my ears. He played quite well. Perhaps this was his forte and not Broadway or he was trying to play badly before I do not know but the rest of the show went well, We cut WHAT KIND OF FOOL, due to him not being able to play it. He said that he does charts as well and I promnised to commission him to do a couple for me. Ran to lunch in the veranda, MEXICAN today. Told Barry that we had a full show if he chose it and then went down to the theatre to listen to Jeremy's lecture on Campaign '08. Interesting. I was exhausted so I went back to my room and took a two hour nap.

Did some work on my next show, had a beer, feeling a little soreness in my throat so I'd better stay away from the booze. watched a little of FORGOTTEN. It's sad when you are watching a movie and you can't remember if you've seen it before. If you did, it must not have been very good, huh? It's slow so far, bur vaguely familiar. 6:30pm . I think I'll go try to see a little sunset. I think I'm too late. I did get to meet Ian from Scotland strutting his stuff on Deck 7 in his kilt. Divine and we had a lovely chat. Walking thru reception I remembered that tonight is FORMAL so I bee lined to my room to get ready for dinner.

Well, well, well. Dinner was amazing. Black tie (optional) but the gowns and tuxes were out in full force. I have a habit of getting to the dining room at 7:15, a little early. I was not invited into the theatre, a party for return guests that I stopped to say hello but Nicola and Marla did not invite me in so I paused a few minutes at the door and decided to go on down to the 3rd floor for dinner, or at least a drink of wine while I waited for my table mates to join me. I was finally joined but a gorgeous couple from Belgium, Rudy and Jeanette. She looked stunning in a white encrusted gown and a beautiful shawl with roses painted on it. He was an ex military and very dashing and charming, both. Kathy, a real estate agent from Pittsuburgh, who had said hello after my show and her date Jim, a little hard of hearing joined us and we totally enjoyed our 3 hour meal together. The menu consisited of the chef's favorite dishes: CALIFORNIA MOUSSE & MOLLASSOL CAVIAR, mediteraneun blinis, mustard cress - beautiful textured subltle cauliflower taste, WHITE TOMATO PLUM SOUP, basil foam that is drunk from a cup like cappucino, extraordinary, GOAT CHEESE "SFORMATINO" walnut, radicchio, sage and asparagus. Balsamic reduction, tasty. ORGANGE BASIL SORBET to cleanse the palette. PAN SEARED FILET OF BRILL "LIME BEURRE BLANC" bean nicoise style, potato scallion. the potatoes were incredible, great texture, Also the fish was great. NOUGAT GLACE - HONEY & NUTS strawberries and aged balsamic, CHOCOLATE AMARETTO TRUFFLES. to die for. Lots of wine, Pellegrino and good company. I finally had to excuse myself because I wanted to freshen up before Chris's show at 10.

Chris's show was amazing. He did do IMPOSSIBLE DREAM, the song that made him snap and I don't think I'll want to spend anymore time with him but I'm glad we met and he is very talented. I turned in early with a little bit of a sore throat.

SUNDAY

Woke this morning and had a walk and breakfast on the veranda. Lovely Muesli and fruit and cream. Did a little work on my show, trivia, and I was assigned to a new team, SINGAPORE SLINGS. I'm glad because it made me meet a new group of freinds. Mark the magician, Adriana and Michael, Peg, Martin and MIM he has great hair and is handsome from New Zealand, We are in 3rd place. Had lunch on the sky bar with Mark and then dropped in to the theatre to be told by Barrry that my show is Tuesday nite. Marla snapped and said I could rehearse after her show was up and running. took a nap. Got up in time to go to the Deck 6 bar for Freinds of Dorothy meeting . Keith, Allan from Sydney, Chria, Chris and Steve, Chris and Uva and Barry joined us. Off to dinner which I was hosting with Jane and Elaine at my side ,Ian McBane across from me, James, Sylvia, Bronwyn, Norelle and Bill. Great table and then i came home I think I'll skip dancing under the stars. Big day in Goa tomorrow. Having tea with an Indian family.

MONDAY

I woke at 2:30 am and thought that Cloris needed a little attention so we popped down to the laundrette on the floor below and I positioned her sitting on the ironing board, close to the steam iron. Within 2 minutes a Asian guard was in the room, startled and undoing some sort of silent alarm that must have gone off and brought him to the laundry room. He laughed and sent a couple buddies to have a peak and the couple on the ironing board. She also has startled a couple maids and guests to my room. She might need a drink on Tuesday after my show, we'll see. Gonna try to get back to bed and sleep.
Breakfast in the veranda, a quick half hour walk then on to the shuttle bus at 8:45 for the tour. $49.00. We started with an hour drive, thru traffic jams, lots of litter, some shops to reach the churches, vendors swarming us as we walked the route to the bus, I bought a Ganesh for $5.00 and a miniature backgammon set for Steve Witting for $10.00. Back on the bus for lunch stopping at a nice , expensive shop where I almost was seduced into buying a cashmere carpet but a sexy Indian man. then we went to a Indian home for lunch. Cold papussas, chutney sandwiches, beef roulades, Kingfisher beer, mango soda, lovely house, not a very good lunch. back on the bus and we headed for the ship which was an hour away. Back on board I watched ATONEMENT, loved it and I got the book from the office. can't wait to read it. nap a little then went to host dinner with Barbara bruised face and Beverly, Olympia Dukakis, Jane and Donald my faves, Helene and Stanley whom I enjoy alot, Ronwyn whom I have a date tomrorow am at 10 with for macintosh lessons for pics and mp3 files and Nancy, who is a buddy of Chris. Afterwards I went to office to check my emails and since they did not put a blurb about me in the morning news so I took the bio I had written I took it from the desk. Went to see Marla's act. If my friends could see me now, ring them bells, fever, wrong way to do it, Not very good sturcture but she is a good performer and has alot of spunk. back in my room and I'm gonna hit the sac. K

TUESDAY

Woke up early and had breakfast in the veranda. My last day on board. My show toinight, and I have a sore throat. I think I irritated my chord with salt water gargle in the middle of the night. After breakfast I tried to walk it off but it still hurt. Ian brought me more lozenges but they were too medicianl and numbed my throat, sort of like a CEPACOL so I gave them back. Back in my cabin, I did last minute preperations and stoppled off at the clinic to get their rememdy. Day nurse, a type of CONTACT and some lozenges STREPSILS, orange flavored lozenges. A 11 am I met my new freind Ronwynn in the library, along with Margot for a MACBOOK lesson. I then ran to my rehearsal on stage with Danny and ALvin and Dave.
It was rough going., Sluggish, uninspired accompaniement. Lots of air between numbers. Hopefully they will come up to the level in front of an audience. Came back to my cabin, to the laundry, spa fro steam room, then a 2 hour nap. up at 6 and I'm going order some pasta for dinner. I have an 8 rehearsal and then a 9:30 half hour. It will be great fun, I'm sure.
Well, the show is over. I felt like Brenda Vaccaro, but I learned alot about performing. My voice was not there but my performance instinct kicked in and I didn't care. the band was sinking in mud but I stayed buoyant and professional. Some things felt great. I been everywhere, new verse was great. All of me was great, went up to the lounge and Barry and I had a chat. he's lovely and I hope to work with him again. I've packed about 80% and I'm about to hit the sac.

WEDNESDAY
Woke pretty early and continued packing. Had breakfast with Allan and Keith, who did not come to my show last nite. Oh well. Arranged to take a cab into the Dutch palace with them. Met them at 9 on shore. We grabbed a cab for 500 rupies? or $10.00. the Dutch palace was not open till 10 so we walked back to some fancy souvenir craft places and I made my way to Jew town as they call it. Could not go in the Synagogue, since I had shorts on but shopped in the area which was quite charming. Got a tuk tuk for $ 10.00 back to ship and got paid by the Chief Pursor, checked my emails. say Barry and will meet him for lunch. Back in room regrouping and saying Goodbye to the SPIRIT. I feel as though it will miss me and I it. My travel day was pretty intense with a flight from Cochin to Humedya to Delhi. Arriving at about 11:30pm. Took a prepaid taxi to my hotel,HOTEL YUVRAJ, ON ARAKARSHAN ROAD NEAR Connaught place, a real hole and home for my bags for the next few days. Sketchy sheets, blanket, dirty, no internet, but I did sign up for a driver to take me to AGRA tomorrow am at 7.

THURSDAY
Woke early and went downstairs to meet my driver BABA. We set out to the pharmacy at Connaught Place, drove past the Red Fort on the way to AGRA. Stopped a couple hours out for monkeys on the median, coffee at an oasis where I met 3 guys headed to Mt Everest. Greg from Canada, Lori and Damian from Australia. Had breakfast with them and then set off for AGRA , picked up our guide, ARIF. Went to the West gate but there was a huge line so we weaved thru his neighborhood , stopping ot see his car and house and brother and little boy before we went in to the TAJ with no line on the South Gate I asked the 3 guys if they wanted to join our tour and just tip him and they did. On the way there we were joined by a group of jubilant met with a monkey on a platform It seems that the monkey is a sacred element of Hindu religion and this one passed on so they celebrate with drums, bananas and much joy. Taj was even more impressive in person, Yamana River, Carnillion orange stone that glows when lit with a lite. richshaw ride to the car chased by beggars and children selling things. Visited a Inlay shop and had coffee, not my thing, went upstairs and bought alot of shirts, tea shirts, pajamas, jewelry, Went to the marble palace with the glass, mirrored winter palace, viewed the Red fort from outsideon the way to Jaipur we stopped at Sikandra and saw lot of monkeys, long 3.5 drive to Jaipur passing thru real Indian countryside and towns. stopped at Handi restarant and had chicken tikka massala, raita, chicken biyani , checked into our hotel SAKET, a nice place, modest, cheap, got on the internet. woke at 4 thirsty but no water was to be had. 7 am breakfast in room and an 8 am call in the lobby.

FRIDAY
I meet my new guide, MASIK and Baba has stayed in a guest room at the hotel. he says the place is owned by the royal family. the city of Jaipur is known as the Pink city and it is. Hobo Majad, Palace of the wind from the street, Amber fort which was amazing and I got to climb the front gate on an elephant, the water palace, coffee and cake, chantal matar an astological garden built by an early king, city palce quickly. stopped for dinner at Pindi and got chicken kurma and veg biryani to go in the back seat of the car . MMMmmmmm. stopped at a fantastic Hindu temple at dark, stopped at a kite shop and then started th e4 hour drive to Delhi.Arrived at about 10:30pm. My room had not been cleaned, no new towels, dogs barking, desolute area..

SATURDAY
our day began at 8. FINAL DAY IN INDIA. Started in Old Delhi, flower market, Jehan bajad huge mosque, Chandi Chowk a shopping area and street, looked at red fort and visited Gahndi memorial. My driver's name is Parap Baba. visited a Sihk temple, had to wrap head , sweet poi like stuff when we exited, president's house, parliament, Padma a coop handicraft dept store, SAGA high end store, Lotus temple, dinner at Pindi while I wrote cards, showed pics, uploaded pics. lost credit card there. went to Auyveric massage at Padma and then went to the airport. said good bye to Baba and got on line in the smoking lounge, where the only plug could be found.


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