My First Time

Offshore

It has been more than 24 hours since I set my feet on the ground but I could still feel the waves of the South China Sea in my head. For awhile, I thought I was hallucinating but really, my body is merely trying to settle down on solid earth. Having survived three weeks offshore on a barge, my entire system was tuned to frequency of the merciless ocean pounding on a cockroach infested vessel. Pathetic.

And I thought India was bad.

The scenic views of the horizon were no doubt breath-taking. In fact, they were just awesome.

But all these could not overcome the disgust of having to bathe in Ferum infiltrated water, not to mention using the same dirt to brush one's teeth. The stench of rust just never leaves you. I think if I were to spend another couple of more weeks there, I might have turned brown. Maybe it would even be possible to scrape layers of rust off my epidermis. My towel, just to illustrate it to you, laboured the colour change and exasperating stains where concentration of the metal was high. It does look somewhat artistic though – polka dots towel for a change.

Keeping a smile was not entirely an easy task in an ocean of forlorn faces. Many of them, if not all, were there simply because of monetary rewards. I guess that's what kept them from diving straight into the sea. One can tell from the movies that they watch with extreme keenness every night after dinner. I will spare you the details but let's just say that it's a boat filled with men whose testosterone levels would only escalate by day. Loneliness and unsatiable hunger filled the air even when you live with no fewer than fifty men onboard a 23 years old Korean made boat. I'm glad I brought shower creme and not soap bars. đŸ˜†

Food wasn't too bad though. Probably I was overly sensitive to roaches but I am pretty sure the bread did taste of cockroaches. I ate them anyway and am still alive. We did look a lot like prisoners in our singlets and shorts, many in boxers. You can even use the phrase "scantily clad" in some cases. The line of men queuing with plates and white bowls to get their meals made me feel as though I'm behind bars. And to add to the insult, our tops were labelled in numbers by the laundry boys. So you can't really blame me for having these thoughts, can you?

I think I am in dire needs of a tuning fork. Default settings are good.

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