Monday morning, train from Subiaco to Fremantle Port. I'm on foot, armed with The Dazzler's iPad and a list of shipping company offices lined up within reasonable distance of each other. The 'MSC Ingrid' leaves Fremantle for Singapore on Thursday. I have absolutely no problem deluding myself with imaginings that I will get on this vessel.
MSC offices were a good two-mile walk from the main hub of my targeted offices for that day. Off one trots up the side of a motorway, one rocks into the offices greeted by two fine looking women. I state The Thumb's mission and receive looks of sheer horror, like an alien has just walked in. I laugh and assure them I am genuine.
"Can I speak to the manager please?"
Five minutes later a dude of sorts greets me. Before I had chance of an utterance I was quickly brushed to one side with his negative approach, he was a knuckle-head and was showing off in front of the quite stunning receptionists. The field of open desks behind reception were all now focused on this scenario, one that I wanted to get out of with as little damage to my ego as possible. That didn't happen. "Gewd luck" he scoffed as I left the building with a 100 eyes peeling into me.
The tone for the next five days was set; in and out of offices encountering people who just did not get what the Thumb was up to. After 23 visits to all the major shipping companies amidst waiting, chasing, emailing and my favourite, repeating myself, I received 23 denials.
I was left with one shard of hope to see me through the weekend. One firm had escaped my attentions, 'Willhelmsmen' a Norwegian company based off the beaten track up the coastline. 6pm and Dariusz was taking me seriously, devoid of snobbery. The possibility of a ship to Shanghai, China next Wednesday was a change in plan I would welcome given the un-penetrable wall of protocol in Western Australia's largest port.
Monday morning for my answer it is.