Yesterday was my first day as a boat cleaner. What a rush. I was hung over from Axel’s birthday party the night before and the heat—it was one the hottest days of the year—took its toll as I was walking to Viking Line’s Katajannokka terminal.
Waiting for us new guys (six new workers that day, all guys) to be lead on to the boat and shown the ropes, I was surprised and pleased by sheer foreigness of the workforce. I had expected immigrants, but I had been afraid everyone would be old and depressed and unfriendly. Instead of apathy (what I’d expected to feel about the work, I suppose), I felt energized by the bustling crowd of young people speaking in Russian and French and other languages, laughing and having fun. I felt... free.
Free of “normal” social constraints and free of my own expectations of where I should be in life. This was a step sideways—or maybe a leap—and I was thrilled.
The work itself isn’t as easy as you’d think. You have to be fast and precise. Three hours of monotonous tasks requiring speed and precision makes time fly by like a worm on asphalt. And after work my ass sure let me know that it was the one doing all the heavy lifting in all the bending over involved in picking up trash and making beds.