Saturday, May 21, 2011

Entry 63 5.11.11

Entry 63, May 11th, 2011, 1:52am (ship time GMT +2)

Visited Barcelona today. Beautiful city, good food, fashion-conscious women, old Roman ruins, blah blah blah . . . you're going to get plenty of those posts the next few months. What I really want to talk about is economics.

On the ship, it all comes down to food. The mess closes at midnight, and reopens at 7am the next morning. For most normal human beings, that's not a problem, but if you're like me at every once in a while take a nap at 4pm only to roll out of bed around midnight, this can be quite an issue. My sleep habits often force me into dealing with the shadow economy that exists every night from midnight until 7.

The standard unit of currency among hungry crew in the middle of the night is the noodle bowl, much as deer skins (“bucks”) were among the settlers of the American frontier. If you do not have any noodle bowls (like me), you will need some sort of trade good to acquire your meal. Tonight I was able to trade a quarter can of cashews and a handful of skittles for a bowl, which is a pretty good deal. I've got a contact who has access to a large stockpile of noodle bowls bought in Panama, and so prices are good. Otherwise it could have cost me an entire package of skittles in addition to the cashews.

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