Check ignition and may God's love be with you.
Please can you advise if you are able to join Queen Victoria on the 5th January in Southampton and attend the White Star Academy and then you will tranship to Queen Mary 2 on the 13th January in New York to begin your full contract?"
I received this e-mail earlier today. It's the culmination of my tenure in Germany, albeit not quite the finale I was hoping for. You see, I came to Berlin to teach English for a year while my girlfriend did research, but due to many complications, I was unable to get a work visa. So I was forced to consider other options and start making preparations for some sort of plan B, which leads us to now.
Plan A has failed. Plan B begins very soon.
I will be (literally) going around the world on board a cruise ship (the world's second largest cruise ship, in fact). And as much as I'd like to say it's a pleasure trip, it turns out I'll be the one with the tray of food, running back and forth to the some of the pickiest customers in the world. For the next six months, I will have to shave every morning, put on my tuxedo, and don the traditional white gloves for High Tea, none of which I've done since performing in "Hello Dolly" in high school. This could all go terribly wrong.
I've been holding onto this information for a while now, for a couple reasons; 1) this whole endeavor was borne from my failure to make things in Germany work and 2) I've become so accustomed to things not working out that I half expected an e-mail telling me all three of their ships had sunk (followed by the oft received consolation, "we regret to inform you that we do not have any available positions at this moment, but we will keep your resume on file in case a ship resurfaces in the future.")
In any case, here I am, waiting to do something I've always dreamed about with a mixture of bittersweet excitement and giddy trepidation. As a friend reminded me recently, it's not exactly the way I had planned to travel the world on a boat, but why be picky? I'm not sure what's in store for me. I don't know if this adventure will be worth following, or if I will even have any time to write in between my 10 hour per day/7 days per week schedule. All I really know is that from time to time, I'll be able to look out the window and see something I have never seen before, and that's kind of cool.
So that's the rambling and underwhelming introduction to the next six months of my life. The countdown starts now. 15 days...
Play me out, Mr. Bowie.