10/09/2014 08:13 BST | Updated 09/11/2014 05:59 GMT

April Fool's and Sweat in Hong Kong

I thought this was a very good April Fool's day prank that was played upon the passengers aboard Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, whilst I was on board in 2012.

By Genevieve Frew (AUS)

Right Royal Fools

I thought this was a very good April Fool's day prank that was played upon the passengers aboard Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, whilst I was on board in 2012.

This is the notice that appeared in the daily bulletin on 1st April:


During our last bunkering operation in Singapore on the 24th March we took delivery of thousands of tons of contaminated heavy fuel oil. This fuel is unusable for our diesel electric motors and therefore until we reach Mumbai we need to use QUEEN ELIZABETH's Gas Turbines.

These powerful auxiliary motors are normally only used to supplement our power and therefore we carry a limited supply of fuel for them. Fortunately due to their ecologically sound design we can use a variety of household and everyday items as potential fuel sources. The most effective of these is the lotic gas produced from the burning of suntan lotion. We need your help. We have a receptacle in the Grand Lobby on deck one and if everyone onboard donates a squirt of suntan lotion then we calculate that we will be able to produce enough lotic gas to power the Gas Turbines and help us reach Mumbai on time. Thank you for your support with this unusual situation - together we can ensure a timely arrival in Mumbai.

We need your suntan lotion.


Hong Kong looks so glamorous in the brochures. They promise you exotic delights, inexpensive shopping and a superb nightlife combined with the history and the mystery of the east.

Nobody mentions the sweat!

I guess it's difficult to capture sweat in photographs, and who wants to travel eight hours in compressed air to arrive at your destination and... sweat?

I presume that the emphasis on clothes shopping comes from the need to rapidly replace rotting garments and the delight in purchasing duty-free perfumes is to purloin the pong.

Attractive as shopping is, the body acclimatises quickly and soon you are cool, then cooler, then shivering and start trying on coats. Freezing, you push open the vacuum-sealed doors to the outside world.

Back on the steaming streets you are jostled along by the crowd, who don't seem to realise that the quicker you move, the more you sweat.

Sweat is heavy; just like the precariously positioned air-conditioners jutting out from every window, and you look at them longingly. You can't try on any more clothes and you can forget trying on any shoes with those swollen feet!

Nothing left to do but to go back to the hotel, have another shower, turn on the TV and order room service.

Then snuggle down under the blankets (in the air-conditioned room) and look longingly at the glossy brochures (supplied by the marketers and merchandisers) of people doing what you have been doing all day - without a single, solitary sign of sweat!

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