Molde Fjord – almost a day off

25 May

Today we were supposed to suffer our weekly emergency drill, but our masters eliminated that idea over night. Luckily, I did not rely on the drill to wake me up, and went for a late breakfast instead, which is now followed directly by six hours of spare time in Molde. My ten-hour work day will be spent exclusively in the Photo Gallery, so I won’t have to retain any energy or conscience for work tonight. This is as close to a day off as I will ever get aboard this vessel, so instead of morning about my lost time I will share some positive thoughts, and explain why I am keeping the job as photographer with ABC Cruises, at least for the moment.

Photo Gallery aboard the ABC RypMeOff

I’m starting to hate the Photo Gallery. It’s still better than begging for photos, though.

Cruise photography involves a lot of hassle. The work hours are long and stressful, the majority of my coworkers are cranky sociopaths, our managers are delusional slavers, and the food is of such questionable quality that not even seagulls dare circle our vessel. Had I known of the perils involved, I may not have taken this job. I knew that the work hours would be long, but I was not informed that my coworkers were a group of uncoordinated self-centered knit-wits, and that professionalism is as much a conundrum to them as are most other words in the English language. But now I am here, and since I spent some $1500 to acquire the certificates required to serve on a cruise ship, I am eager to stay, at least until the hassle pays off.

Remaining aboard is a challenge for body and soul, so I have to channel positive energy to survive this adventure. The most obvious advantage about joining this cruise business is the availability of beautiful port towns. Our passengers pay at least €900 to go on this two-week trip around Norway, while the crew gets the whole tour for free. Today clouds of rain cover the sky, so our tourist visit to Molde Fjord is tarnished by wet clothes and cold fingers. (It still is early spring in Norway.) Still, the lush evergreen forest, the misty mountain sides, and the view of huge ragged rocks in the long and quiet fjord are more beautiful than any sight of the Central European mainland. Beyond the last line of houses I follow a trail that leads into the woods, and already twenty metres along the path I am surrounded by nothing but greenery, and the sweet drizzle of falling water, intermixed with the occasional bird calling from the tops of majestic trees.

Drizzle and trees in Molde Fjord, Norway

During my first visit to Molde it drizzled all day long. The view was still worth the hike and the cold.

The woods beyond the town of Molde are not just a welcome change from the hectic turmoil aboard the ABC RypMeOff. These forests resonate with a silent magic that fills me with a new will to live, and to succeed on this trip through the gruesome depths of human greed. So I drink in the feelings of wilderness and solitude that I so dearly miss aboard, and I fill myself with that earthen connectivity that vibes through the tree tops like the literal band of May.

In a day or two I will be standing in the bowels of the cruise ship, begging passengers to take a photo that they will never view or purchase. And in the half-hour breaks between restaurant times and theatre shows, when I stand alone in a grey hallway, waiting for my manager to peak around the corner, and check up on me, then, instead of questioning my existence I will look back on this image of a lush green forest. No matter how boring and monotonous my work nights will be, I can always flee to the knowledge that these woods will remain, and will await me on my next cruise. The entire summer will be filled with cruises around Norway and Scotland, enabling me to visit a place like this every week.

This Northern paradise is not something I expected to find, particularly not after the stress-burdened job that I fulfill every day. Thus, I will hold it particularly dear, knowing that these woods will remain for generations to come, and will be here to be enjoyed, for the simple price of me clinging on to my job.

If you would like to envision the same misty Molde, click here to view my photo gallery.

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