A Year In Nadada: Week Thirty Two- Wild Cards

Crotti is what I needed after Duchamp.

Alongside the staff, about a hundred people remain on The Kandinsky. At the moment we spread across the island, close to enjoying a normal holiday. Time runs at a level that makes sense, and you can walk from street to the next without them hopping around.  Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of weird stuff here. I will discuss the cats next week. But for now here’s a rundown of I spend my time in this section of Nadada.

Internet poker was my standard dressing room distraction back on the surface. This was never high stakes, but even then I often sent five or ten pounds into the digital ether between shows. In the first few months on board I found a mixed group of crew and tourists who like playing the odd hand.  We’ve got together when we can. There’s no money to gamble with of course, so we play for fun and poker chips.

At the moment our games are a daily occurrence. We play under a pomegranate tree, sitting on deckchairs around a camping table, drinking mint tea and eating Turkish delight. It’s not a kids game. I always start to lose in under an hour. In any other game, my opponents would purloin the last of my chips before the tea went cold.

Here on Crotti they avoid even that level of disappointment. The cards start off with all the suits and royalty you need, and the poker chips are fresh from the box in red and green. But then the Queen of Hearts slips from her frame, and appears in the corner of the Jack of Clubs. The diamonds on the nine swirl around in a dance of shapes and patterns. The numbers and suits swap around at frequency based purely on your ranking around the table.

Poker is strange when those with the least amount of chips were the ones who were concentrating the most on their cards, and smiling the most. I can’t see these cards working on the surface. You need an economy that doesn’t rely on money for success. But here on Crotti they are as good a way as any to pass the time.

I’m back to work soon. But as I said, next week I’ll tell you about the cats.


Our pomegranate tree.