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Time Zones, Containers and Three Square Meals a Day Paperback – September 2, 2011

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Maria Staal was born in the Netherlands (1969). She studied construction engineering and specialised in architectural history.

While living in York, United Kingdom, she wrote her first book 'Romans, Vikings, Churches and Chocolate', in which she highlights the fact that even in the modern streetscape, York's ancient history is still visible. Her second book 'From dissenters to fire engines' was also written in York and focuses on the city's nineteenth century churches.

Back in the Netherlands, Maria wrote about her adventures working on container ships in her book 'Time Zones, Containers and Three Square Meals a Day' and it's sequel 'More Stories of Time Zones and Containers'.

'Time Zones' is Maria's first book that is now also available in Dutch under the title 'Tussen containers en tijdzones'.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466248181
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466248182
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,241,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Maria Staal was born in the Netherlands (1969). She studied construction engineering and specialised in architectural history. While living in York, United Kingdom, she wrote her first book 'Romans, Vikings, Churches and Chocolate', in which she highlights the fact that even in the modern streetscape, York's ancient history is still visible.

Her second book 'From dissenters to fire engines' was also written in York and focuses on the city's nineteenth century churches.

Back in the Netherlands, Maria wrote about her adventures working on container ships in her book 'Time Zones, Containers and Three Square Meals a Day' and its sequel 'More Stories of Time Zones and Containers'.
'Time Zones' is Maria's first book that is now also available in Dutch under the title 'Tussen containers en tijdzones'.

Maria is currently working on a new three-part fictional series set in her 'home away from home' York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By jim anthony on May 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ran across this title in a discussion group on tagging. The title of the book intrigued me and the cover resonated a sense of tranquility.
I read the free sample then I bought the book and it's one that I will enjoy a rereading again and again.

I immediately started to bond with the main female character. I felt like I was on that journey with her. After my first day of reading, I was so involved with the story and characters I didn't want it to end. It was like one of those great movies you watch and you wish the story kept going on. Her descriptions were brief and that's all they needed to be because the imagery from her words brought a movie to life in my brain.
My cruising fantasy upon a container ship has been quenched from reading this book.

The author's voice flowed at a leisurely pace and you really felt like you were on this traveling journey. Even the smallest details she painted a mural and you could see this clearly in your mind. From finding a puzzle was no box or reference picture from which to work with, to the constant time changes a body must endure, to the oddball characters from crew and guests, this was a happy place to be. I really want to be on this journey with them.

I looked forward to finding a half-hour here and an hour there to sit down and escape on this journey. It's the kind of book that you think about when you're not reading it. You imagine what these characters might be doing right this moment upon the container ship and it makes you want to rush back to the book and start reading some more. I love novels that let me totally escape reality and grow a bond with the characters.

The authors knowledge about these container journeys is quite vast.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By IlanaWD on September 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Before reading this book I never think about traveling on a ship container. Thus, why do you need a guide-book?

We usually evaluate a good book by the force of revealing aspects of the reality hidden beforehand to us. Maria Staal's Time Zones, Containers ans Three Square Meals a Day is one of those books creating a "wow" effect when after reading the last word something changed in our way of thinking and understanding the world. As I advanced the very pleasant lecture of the book I was discovering how many unexpected things could happen while traveling in this not so usual way: observing and interacting with the members of the crew and talking about their personal stories, sociological and anthropological insights about the life around the ports, customs habits. Overall, a diversity of life we can't discover otherwise. Add to this the style and you have the good cocktail of a successful reading evening.

During the three months spent on board, Maria Staal toured in and around Italy, Spain, Suez Canal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, China or US. Every stop is marked by a little special adventure, giving a certain dynamism to the story. The first person account is giving a lot of authenticity we are tempted to forget sometimes given the literary gifts of the author. Maybe I would have been very curious to find more details and info about the culinary experiences, but this apparent omission is completed by rich descriptions of the places visited and fine human observations. The dialogues are entertaining and the descriptions and various psychological observations are contributing significantly in driving the reader to the ambiance of the story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brooke Frederick on June 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this book if you have ever fancied roaming the seven oceans as a passenger on a container ship. Maria Staal takes you with her on her journey from Italy, through the Suez Canal to the Middle East, to Singapore and South Korea, then back again to the Mediterranean and all the way across the Atlantic. But the highlight of the book is not so much the colorful ports of call as the crew of the container ship with whom she shares this adventure. Consisting of five or six German officers and twenty-odd Philippine crewmen, the story of how Maria creates her own niche and routine in their midst, and how they learn to accept and embrace her as part of their world makes fascinating reading.
There is the cook, Rodel, who has quite a challenge suiting the culinary preferences of these thirty people from various countries. Every Saturday he reaches out to the German officers and serves Eintopf, a kind of stew, the only dish Maria can't stand -- but by the end of the journey she has grown to like it. There is the Captain, who has a surprisingly soft heart and finds himself paralyzed by indecision when one of his fellow officers experiences a personal crisis that puts everyone on the ship in danger.
Travel books always involve a quest, and Maria's quest in this story is to compile a kind of guide-book for the passengers who ride this container ship to help them find their way in all the different ports of call. The shipping company has offered her free passage if she will put together this book.
Along the way we learn how containers are loaded on and off the ship, and how dangerous the job can be. Another thing that was new to me was the concept of "ship lag," the idea that travelling across time zones and resetting your clocks day after day disturbs your sleep patterns.
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