I took a cruise once. I needed to interview the ship’s doctor for a travel article I was writing for a lifestyle magazine for physicians. He dodged me. He demurred. He point-blank refused.
I persisted. For days. I thought about feigning illness. Or poisoning my mother. But eventually, I prevailed upon him to speak to me, sans recorder, off the record, deep background.
And the stories he told, as if he’d been waiting, all this time, for someone to pull the stopper out of his mouth… Stories of staff members falling overboard, of dead bodies stored in the freezer until the boat got back to port, of family members who would check their elderly ailing parents onto back-to-back cruises as a sort of subsidised assisted living.
Of course, they didn’t make the article.
As Porter Fox, a writer who has contributed to The New York Times magazine and Salon, laments, real narrative is disappearing from travel journalism, replaced with top ten lists and spa service beta.
So, Fox is dishing up an alternative. Nowhere magazine is about getting lost, about disappearing and discovering a real sense of place – places as uncensored as the anonymous co-pilot who reveals just what pilots and flight attendants get up to with all that duty free liquor.
Places like my favourite little patch of nowhere, Pemberton BC… which our feisty mayor defends in this month’s British Columbia magazine. The highway doesn’t end in Whistler, he pronounces. Whistler is tinsel. In Pemberton, the adventure really begins.
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I’d like to read the original draft of that cruise story Lisa. Or maybe we should just drink a few bottles of wine and I’ll let you narrate it to me. Something like this…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjZR1Rjj_p0
You’re hilarious. I was thinking that guy was an incredible light-weight, until I realised his 8 vodkas were in schooner glasses. A couple of highlights from the white coat, while I’m still sober and articulate: On holidays, guests often decide they’ll also take a break from their medication regime. Caregivers drop off psychotic siblings for an unaccompanied sail around the world. Typically, the ship will have to reroute to drop them off somewhere. Anywhere. 80% of the people who go overboard on cruiseships are never found. One crew member, who couldn’t swim, fell overboard but managed to keep herself afloat for 14 hours before being spotted from the deck of the ship. She was wearing jeans. They had to be cut off her.