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Out of the Storm and into the Hot Seat

by negative_feedback


Neopian Times speaks to Hoban the Navigator

Hoban the Navigator is definitely the man, or should we say, Aisha of the moment since the great search and rescue mission mounted by millions of concerned Neopians concluded recently. Ever since the appearance of this Aisha in the limelight, the new fashion trend for Fall 2006 looks set to be the donning of a stylish hat, a look sported by Neopians everywhere now. Uni's Clothing has been reporting higher than normal sales of hats of all kinds, and Usuki fans have been clamouring for the release of a Hoban Usuki (with hat, of course!). The Neopian Times speaks to Hoban to find out more about this Aisha, his terrible ordeal, and his future plans.

It is two o'clock in the afternoon, Neopian Standard Time, and Hoban arrives for the interview stylishly late, decked in his stylish hat. He apologises profusely, and offers to buy us a drink, his warm personality striking us immediately. What was it with the crew making Hoban out to be some jinxed, quarrelsome, nasty Aisha? After making himself as comfortable as possible in the wooden booth seat (that was the best they had at the Golden Dubloon), he gives the cue to begin the interview. "So, shall we begin?"


NT: Hmmm... we were kind of wondering, you know, how everyone on board who was interviewed made you out to be some kind of nasty, quarrelsome crewmember.

Hoban: Ah... well... I'm not too proud of my behaviour either, but it was a highly stressful situation and my captain was counting on my navigation to sail us out of the storm. It happens to the best of people, I guess. Everyone was kind of anxious about doing their own things and having it their own way. Maybe we should all learn to give and take a little.

We couldn't have put it better ourselves. Let's hope Neopians out there realise the moral of the tale. So, what actually happened after Bonju shoved you?

It was terrible! I hit the water with an almighty crash, and the strong currents immediately bumped me left and right. I was knocked about quite a bit. Eventually I managed to hold onto a crate that was floating near me. The storm died down as dawn broke, and the weather cleared up a bit. That was when I realised I had drifted out of sight of the Cyodrake's Gaze!

So you panicked...

Nah, far from it. They taught us how to handle such situations in school. Captain Tuan was especially insistent that we knew every aspect of seamanship before he allowed us to sail with him. So I decided to break open the crate that I was clinging on to, and voila! It was filled with fruit! Thanking my lucky stars, I climbed in and used it as a raft. However, the charts that I had with me were totally useless as the water had ruined them. I guess I lost my compass when I fell into the sea too. So the only thing I could do was drift about and wait for a passing ship to pick me up. The fruit sustained me for the next few weeks, but every day it tasted worse. I think it was going bad. The sun blazed overhead every day, and the nights were unbearably cold. I was nearly ready to give up hope. Then I saw the Gaze again! I swept my hat off my head and waved frantically at the ship! They rescued me, and I can't say how glad I am to be among civilised company again.

Indeed you must be, after such a harrowing experience. So are there really no hard feelings between the both of you now? And what happened to Bonju after you sailed back to Shenkuu?

Well, like I said before, we should all give and take a little. So there're no hard feelings now. Besides, he did apologise... And about what happened to Bonju, the captain made him attend anger management class, of course! That temper of his could cause another accident the next time we set sail! Maybe we should have Bonju attend cooking lessons as well... for the sakes of our stomachs the next time we go sailing.

Right... Is that why he's too busy to award all of the millions of Neopians out there his avatar? I mean, come on, it's been weeks!

I have no comment on that. *twiddles thumbs* He's been busy practising deep breathing techniques. I suppose he really needs it, since his cooking pot blows up every few seconds from hopeful Neopians trying to mix up some concoction. Oops, I think I've said too much. Next question!

We were hoping you could tell us more about Shenkuu.

Of course... you must be curious about our world. We are a merchant town, and we survive on trade.


Please don't interrupt! I guess the townspeople must be all excited now that we've been revealed to Neopia; just think of the trade opportunities! It was mainly just trading between ourselves before everyone else were able to come. Now every shop in Shenkuu is just scrambling to get themselves restocked! And they're just wondering why we didn't reveal ourselves earlier! They're simply raking in the Neopoints! *laughs* Oh, and don't ask me why the town is built so high up in the mountains; I can't really remember what my father told me about the founding of the town. One thing, however; it's really good for health as the air is so fresh! The residents are also quite friendly; they'd be happy to have Neopians over for a pot of tea and a game of Kou-Jong.

Thank you for giving us an insight into Shenkuu. So, what are you doing right now?

Now? I'm talking to you, of course!

No, we didn't mean that.

Okay, I get your point. Trying too hard to be funny, I guess. Sheesh, you journalist types. All right, just yesterday I had to give a speech at Shenkuu College. I think they wanted to hear about my experience and my application of the skills that I learnt at the school. It was quite flattering that Principal Ling was so proud. Besides that, life has been pretty normal.


Okay, not really. I get mobbed everywhere I go now, what with eager young Neopets wanting to hear about my experience firsthand, and infatuated teens wanting my autograph! It's even become so difficult to visit the supermarket for groceries! I have to have them delivered now! And don't even get me started on the crazy Battledomers wanting my hat! There's nothing special about my hat, I assure you.

We think that might be because of the prizes they gave out.

Really?! They gave out copies of my HAT?! Honestly! What good can a hat do in the Battledome?

It dishes out some pretty spiffy icons of damage, we hear.

Hmmm... well, that's nice to hear, but I'm not taking any chances with MY hat. It's only good for looking stylish in. *grins* So you can tell all those Battledomers to lay off my hat!

Speaking of hats, you might also like to know the new fashion craze has been to sport a hat. What top tips have you to fashionistas out there who want to look good in a hat?

Wow, I didn't know my hat caused such a wave of activity in Neopia! Um, it's actually just to keep my first pair of ears warm. But seriously, the only way to see if you look good in a hat is to... use a mirror! *laughs maniacally*

All right... We're not sure Neopian Times readers would be too satisfied with that.

Hey, I'm just saying it as it is... I'm definitely not a 'fashionista' or anything, and I'm really flattered by all this 'setting a new fashion trend' business. So they only gave out my hat as a prize?

They also gave out your map book, and er... your leftovers.

Um... I'm not sure you guys want to eat that. After all, it was cooked by Bonju. *shifty eyes*

We'll pretend we didn't hear that. So, when will the Gaze next set sail?

I'm not too sure about that; you'll have to ask Captain Tuan or First Mate Shumi. Everyone's pretty glad about returning home, actually, so I don't think we'll be sailing for at least a couple of months perhaps. I heard Linae is doing some intensive practise of Kou-Jong, the Captain and Shumi are repairing the ship and of course Orrin, Kentari and Anshu have their own shops to run in Shenkuu. And not forgetting Bonju and his cooking pot.

How about you? After all, this interview is about YOU!

Me? Nah... I don't fancy the attention I'm getting now, come to think of it. I think I shall stay at home and continue to study the Neopian seas, and hone my navigational skills until Captain Tuan wants to set sail again. Maybe play a game or two of 'Eye of the Storm'. It feels weird playing a game that I'm in though. Hey, hang on a minute... how come Linae gets to be in TWO games?!?! That's not fair! Wait till I speak to Adam about this!


We suppose that concluded our interview as Hoban took his leave and waved goodbye to us. "It was nice talking to you! And don't forget to tell those Battledomers about my hat!" he shouted, narrowly missing the harassed looking pirate waiter as he ran out of the restaurant. At least he had something better to do than to stay at home now: he was going to be looking for Adam about Linae and those two games. We didn't think Linae would be glad to hear about that. So much for not fancying the attention he was getting. What a weird guy.

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