Archive for September, 2012


Thursday, September 13th, 2012

For an atheist I certainly find the image of hell a useful one.  I believe I have been witness to several portals to the underworld.  (The bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur, the basement washroom at the downtown Bay and the Gerrard Square Mall spring to mind.)  Several years ago I went to see the Ice Hotel in Quebec and what a frosty bit of Satanhood that place is.  It is quite beautiful for the most part, but dammit, it is made of ice!  A guide explained that for the low low price of $180 (CAD, based on double occupancy, applicable taxes apply) you can stay overnight there.  On a bed made of ice.  In Quebec. In the winter.  The sun sets at about 5:00 and there is no electricity so you are plunged into darkness once you are in your room.  For an additional fee you can get a suite with a fake fire but because the hotel is made of freaking ice the fires cast light but not heat.  Think you know a way to keep warm you naughty things?  Think again – The rooms are supplied with mummy sleeping bags that fit a single occupant only.  Oh, and the bathroom is outside.  One of the rooms is called the “Hockey Suite”.  The only thing I could think when I wandered in was “Hmmm.  This place smells like divorce.”

The reason I bring up the concept of Hell on Earth is that just yesterday I was doing some research and I happened upon a site that was advertising a Barbie Cruise.  I am a fairly intrepid traveller but the idea of a cruise in general gives me a rash.  I just don’t like the idea of being trapped on a boat.  I have been assured by those who cruise (not you, gay boyfriends, the other kind) that it is like being on a floating city.  I did a little calculation and the Oasis of The Sea  (the largest cruise ship in the world) is approximately 2.86 times the size of the Eaton Centre, not including the office towers.  Which is all very well and good except that I really don’t want to be trapped in the Eaton Centre, even at thrice its current dimensions, for a week with no means of escape either.  Add to that the Barbie factor.  In the words of their website:  The Barbie Premium Experience brings aboard the fab-tastic style of the world’s most famous doll! Set sail on a Barbie dream cruise complete with fun, fashion and runway moments. Make lifelong memories and take to the waves in true Barbie style!

I have wanted many things but I am confident that “Barbie Style” is not one of them.  I had a Barbie when I was young.  She was always hopping into a (non mummy) sleeping bag with Ken, and I hacked the wedding dress that some relative thoughtfully gave me into a mini skirt and sent the doll off to steal a sports camper.  Perhaps not what the Mattel marketing committee was intending.

I love to travel, but my thoughts turn to urban escapes in places like London & New York, or to blissful moments under the Indonesian or Costa Rican sun.  That is my idea of Heaven.  I have no need for these other Hells.