Cornucopia of fast
food stands, Ferris Wheels, merry-go-rounds, assorted stomach-turning
upsidedown rides designed to disorient minds. The ships of
several navies are docked close by.
I walk the gangplank
of the Canadian Patrol Frigate HMCS Calgary, flat "shipside
grey" paint thinly brushed on steel plates set at angles
for stealthy sailing. "Watch your
down stairwells to where graves have been discovered containing skeletons
of people of early Eskimo cultures. The eye-sockets of the skulls
have artificial eyes in them, giving them a gruesomely lifelike
appearance. With the skeletons was found the skull of a diver
treated in the
same way. It has been suggested that the purpose was to keep
in the soul, but against this may be argued that this operation
have been performed until redundant systems are
slaved to computers. "We use MS Word to write letters," the
guide tells me. "It only has an American spell-check, so
we make mistakes." Two big gas turbine engines are
braced on rockers within insulated space.
Bofors 57mm rapid fire cannon, Hedgehog missile
Phalanx Close-In Weapon System,
and depth charge launchers
are muzzled. The capitan salutes them all with a smile.