Day 15 of my trip to China is spent on the cruise ship going up the Yangtze River.
Once again this morning I am up early & after a shower, I go for tea in the Yangtze club & watch Dr Hu & a few passengers going through their Tai Chi routine. At about 7:30 I go for breakfast & meet the rest of the VIP crew before we all go our separate ways for the day.
After a few days walking around on different trips, I have decided to stay on board today. I will be missing out on a trip to a relocated village that was flooded when the dam was built but will be able to spend some quiet time on board ship with wife number 1 today. This afternoon will be hectic as after lunch I will be battling against others in a high stakes Mah-jong game.
Morning on board ship.
After breakfast, I return to my room to do my packing for our departure tomorrow. I still have a few items of washing to come back but can pack them this evening. After packing I take my laptop to the Yangtze club where I meet Ewen. We sit & relax, logging into the internet & checking on what has been going on in the world whilst we have been removed from it. I sign up for the Mah-jong lesson & chat with Ewen & Selina over a Black Russian cocktail before lunch. Lunch is served at about 12:30 & I take a cocktail with me, just to keep my beer company whilst I have lunch.
Afternoon on board ship.
After another fantastic lunch, I get ready for my Mah-jong lesson this afternoon. As anyone knows the only way to play Mah-jong is with a clear head. Tracy drags me to the Yangtze Club bar where we sample a few Bloody Mary's, they are on sale & it would be rude not to. I soon discover that she is not playing Mah-jong but is doing her best to cloud my brain before I play Mah-jong with Mel, April & Pat.
Tracy left me to watch a film & I join Mel, Pat & April for our Mah-jong lesson. I soon realise that I have been had, my wife has got me tipsy & my daughter is a Mah-jong Bandit. Mel wins both games we play & April & I hardly get a look in as Mel & Pat with our tutors help, seem to be playing without us. Next time I play I will take my own tiles so I get a go. The tiles we are using have Chinese numbering on them & it is very difficult to even work out what numbers & the figures represent. I did enjoy the game but when learning the game I believe it would be easier to use tiles that I know what the figures & numbers are & without a doubt it would have been easier if my wife hadn't plied me with alcohol so that my daughter could beat me (She would have beat me anyway & I won't be playing poker with her any time soon). After the Mah-jong I chat with Selina at the bar & have a cocktail before dinner.
Captains Farewell Banquet.
The strangely named 'Captains Farewell Banquet' consisted of the dinner we had ordered at lunch with a surprise cream cake for afters & a free glass of champagne. The Captain was far too busy to attend the Captain's Farewell & Amanda the ships river guide stands in for him & thanks us all for cruising with them & wishes to see us all again.
After the banquet, we gather in the Yangtze Club bar & watch the crews 'Victoria Culture Show'. After this many of the Chinese guests play dress-up. They dress up in costumes & have their photos taken as the Emperor & Empress of China. Having no desire to play dress-up we chat about the trip over a few more beers & cocktails. Tracy had asked me to get her a cocktail which I did. I sat with Ewen & Mike & as Tracy had not returned I drank her Bloody Mary as well. Shortly after I had drunk her cocktail, Tracy returned with Mel, April & Pat who had all been on deck finishing off their spare wine. After a short time, it was just myself & Tracy keeping Selina company at the bar.
At 10:00 the bar closed & we both went downstairs to settle our bar bill for the trip. When we returned to the bar to collect our belongings we were asked if we wanted another cocktail, oh well it's the last night, we can pay for this one in the morning.