Dateline: Wednesday August 9, 1989
- English Summer Seminar
- Oriana Tour
|ice cream & cola
Notes from 2009: The Oriana
Still at the English Summer Seminar. This is probably the day that we take the field trip to the Oriana. I don’t have an expense entry for the admission (or a ticket). The seminar leaders must have organized it for the group.
With access to the internet, I now can discover the history of the Oriana. Visiting it in 1989, it was just a duty associated with the summer seminar. I didn’t find it particularly interesting.
She arrived in Japan at 3.00 pm on Tuesday June 24 1986. She docked at the Hitachi Zosen Ship Repair Works at Sakai in Osaka. After renovations, she was towed to Beppu Bay. Oriana may have remained afloat, but became a sad sight, especially as the Japanese owners painted her funnels pink. The hotel venture generally failed and in 1995, the Oriana was sold, this time to Chinese interests.
August 26, 1989
The first week I was in Beppu, I taught at an English seminar for high school students. We were all staying at a hotel on Beppu Bay. As a field trip, we visit the Oriana, a cruise-ship-turned-tourist-attraction that’s anchored in Beppu harbor.
After two hours the heat, the sunlight, and speaking slowly in simple English phrases combined with caffeine withdrawal has given me a headache. So I decide to skip lunch and lie down in my room until afternoon classes began.
About ten minutes later, the phone rings. Why hadn’t I come down to lunch? I explain that I have a slight headache and I am going to rest instead. About five minutes later, the phone rings again. Someone else wants to know if I am sick and should she call the doctor. No. No. No. I am just a little tired and thought I’d skip lunch and take a nap. Just as I am about to fall asleep, the phone rings again. Someone barks something at me in Japanese and hangs up. By now I’m throwing pillows at the walls–goddammit! I just want to take a [expletive deleted] nap. I sit on the bed waiting for the phone to ring again. It does. It is Murakami-sensei. They’ve called her long distance and told her I was sick. She wants to drive to Beppu. She wants to call a doctor. She thinks that maybe my schedule has been too intense. She has talked with the other teachers and they think that maybe they should cancel my two-hour orientation. No. No. No. I feel fine, I lie. Listen, JQS and I are just on our way down to lunch now.
So I get dressed again and we go downstairs. Lunch is over and the dishes are being cleared away. We’ve come down for nothing. As we turn to leave, a man comes running up to us. He leads us to the staff room where two places are set with our lunch which we dutifully eat.
I have not had a headache since.