Boat Trip to Great Barrier Reef
It is a MUST to sail on sea if you come to Airlie Beach. I had booked an overnight boat trip on internet days before. But my boat trip was canceled due to some unknown reasons in the very last minutes. The travel agency asked me to give them a little more money and transferred me to another "luxury boat" and gave me an extra night.
The travel agencies comfort me and said: " You will accompany by some Chinese tourists, take it easy, have some rest! "
Well, of course this "comfort" made me even more worry and it turned out simply a disaster……
So we have twelve people on board: a male captain, a female boat assistance and ten guests: five mainland Chinese tourists, two elderly couples, two British gay couple, and me.
The Chinese tourists said they were police / professor in college in China. But they did not quite understand English. I was the only one who could speak both Chinese and English well on board. So the captain asked me to do translation.
The Chinese tourists got sea-sick and hiding in the cabin to sleep. The captain was angry and said: "You have to go up the deck and look far if you get sea-sick. It only made it worse if you keep sleeping inside the cabin! "
I translated. But the Chinese tourists dissatisfied and said: "Why should we have to listen to him!? I like to rest!" then they began to wrapped themselves up tight with clothes, sun hat, etc. A big contrast to the nearly-naked British gay couple.
The Captain was angry. But he managed to maintain a minimum courtesy. He never said any foul language and yet he did not hide his anger. Wow, nice! The service industry reserved the right to be angry!
I was not a good middle man. I should ‘translate’ the proper meaning rather than directly translated their cursing language to each other. Oh, server (Chinese tourists) really hard ... ...
The female boat assistant want to help but didn’t know how. The elderly couple sat back and watched our drama. The British gay couple would give me a ‘Cheers!’ look but distance was always kept.
The British gay couple is lovely. Matthew and Benoit were living in the same room. They never disguised themselves. They didn’t act intimate in front of us but everybody knew they are a pair. They are polite but will not offer help and yet they would response to help. They drew a clear boundary between ‘us’ and ‘others’.
Matthew is only 23 years old but looked like 33 years old. He came from England. He was a rowing athlete but missed the chance to represent British to the Olympic Games for just 0.01 seconds in the selection games a few months ago. He decided to retired and met Benoit in a pub.
Benoit was an investment banker. They traveled to the hot Australia summer in the cold European winter to see the coral and enjoy life.
Matthew was just 23 years old but had lived a lifetime, I asked him: "What are you going to do after retiremen?"
His eyes was clear without a trace of haze. He laughed and said nothing.
We were sitting in an exotic environment for the above interview: the night, the sea, shaking, moonlight, reflection, wow ah ～～～ where is my Prince Charming!!??
I went back to Hong Kong after traveling in Australia and New Zealand. I was always amazed by Matthew’s facebook update: he is flying to Italy to shoot fashion ads, he is flying to Geneva to do a gay athletes lectures, he is in London as a fitness coach…and his sweetheart Benoit was in every photos. They are always together for each other.
I have only one question: if Matthew was born in Hong Kong, would he can achieve all these?
I don’t think so…I can’t recall a positive public figure of gay, muscular and athlete in Hong Kong. Hong Kong still had lots to catch up…