A Year In Nadada: Week Thirty Nine- Farewell to the Jungle

The jungle has whoosed by, and I have one eye on the end of our journey. We only have a few more adventures to go, and are well past the two thirds mark of our performance run.

Movement is an intrinsic part of recent shows. The Butter Mouse even scampers over to a chair for one section. This provide novelty for those on board who are on their tenth plus viewing. But what will happen when go back up in December? Will I have to leave her behind?

Apologies if my tone is droopy today. The goodbye herons are getting me down.

They are beautiful to look at, swooping across in flocks of five or six, their huge wings decorative as kites. But every time they fly too close to our tiger, words echo through your head. I don’t know if these words are someone else’s memories, live transmissions, or entirely fictional. What is consistent is the thoughts involve a goodbye.

Many are the cursory nature  of a professional farewell at the end of a business meeting, or a scripted end to a customer services call. Then out of nowhere is the gut wrench of a  family hugging at a bus station. A mutual break up where both parties know the relationship is over, but they stumble on the final break. Someone walking around their home with an ocean view on the last day of the tenancy. They only last a few seconds, but they scar your brain.

We left our cabin to get away from the window, and headed to the bar. A crowd packed around the tables in the centre, eager to stay away from the sides. We are not used to stress in Nadada. The pilot announced over the tannoy we would be out soon, and this was the first serious announcement we’ve heard on board.

After a few hours of rum and cokes, mixed with the odd farewell that snuck through, the herons and the jungle faded away. A thick grey fog curled around our tiger, and we prowled through a landscape of flat muddy sand. The muck soon coated the paws of The Kandinsky in a concrete like layer.

We are far away from civilisation. I don’t know what we will discover out here in the fog, or if there will be time for ventriloquism.


One of the goodbye herons swings close to the ship. Photo by Nicola Guinegault.