My name is Ismail. I’m going to tell you the story of my journey I had a few years ago.
When I‘m broke or want something different, I always look for a ship to sail in the sea. I don’t get on a ship where rich people travel and I don’t travel as a cook or a cleaner either. I join the boats as a simple crew member.
I don’t like being ordered about by others. This is a great change to my regular life, as I do not take orders from anyone else. I like giving orders. When the captain tells me to take a brush and clean the floors, I do it. Because I know this is a right thing to do. They pay me for this. And I like the smell of the sea and the fresh air of the wild winds, too.
“This time, I’ll get on a whale boat.” I decided.
Most of the ships hunt for whales in the Ocean. The best place to find a whale hunter ship is Nantucket island on the east coast of America.
When I arrived at New Bedford on Saturday night, the ship going to Nantucket had already started its journey, so I had to stay in Bedford for a night or more.
It was getting darker. I stopped wondering where to spend the night. There was a little money in my pocket. “Ismail, you have to ask the fee for a room.” I thought to myself.
I saw an inn by the sea. The door of it was open. I could hear the voices coming from inside. I opened the door. There was a long table that the seamen drank at. The seamen called that table “Jonah”, because it looked like a jaw of a whale. As it was written in one of the books I read that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
“Have you got a roomfor tonight?” I asked the owner of the inn.
“No.” he said. “We don’t have any vacant rooms.” Then he thought. “Can you share a bed with another man?”
“With whom?” I asked.
“With a seamen who uses a harpoon!”
By the way, let me tell you what a harpoon is.
“OK.” said the man. “If you don’t sleep with him you will have nowhere to stay.”
I thought about the stormy night outside. Then I said; “I have to share a room with this man even if he is a monster.”
“I think so.” said the man. “Sit down. You’d like dinner, wouldn’t you? It will be ready soon.” The inn-keeper brought the men their dinner.
“It is as cold as Zeland.” said one of the men.
“Yes, it is.” said the inn-keeper. “I don’t have money to buy wood.”
I held a tea cup to heat my hands. A pudding made with potatoes, sugar, oil and flour was put on the table. A man with a green coat began to eat fast.
“I’m hungry.” he said.
“If you eat fast, you will have nightmares at night.” said a man.
“Is this the seamen you’ve told me about?” I asked whispering to the inn-keeper.
“Oh, no. He is a negro. He never eats anything sweet. He only eats meat.”
“Where is this man? Is he here?” I asked.
“He’ll be here soon.” said inn-keeper.
I didn’t feel happy to share a bed with a man. I decided that the man should go to bed first. That’s why I had to spend the night listening to seamen’s stories. These men got off the ships which came to the port in the morning. So they brought the recent news. While I was listening to the men, the inn-keeper told me that the man I was going to share the bed with wouldn’t come. He took a candle and showed me my room.
He took me to a small, cold room. It was large enough for four people to stay in.
“Here is your bed! Have a nice sleep.” he said and left me the candle.