Mission #1 — WESTPAC, 2004

The first story that comes to mind from mission was the time the LAN chief kicked me off the LAN for having pictures of naked chicks on my personal account.  I don’t know where they came from, but they were there.  I think I found them somewhere and saved them to my drive so I could look at them whenever I wanted.  It’s not like I was beating off on watch or anything.  I looked at them once and decided to save them.  The LAN chief flipped out and yelled at me.  This happened again later on down the road, and I thought they had been erased.  Also, who cares.  It’s on a ship full of dudes.  It’s not like it sexual harassment.  What a joke.   I finally got my access to the LAN back… such bullshit.


Rook ended up getting banned from the engineroom.  The dude kind of went nuts.  They relegated him to mess duty and cleaning duties, until he officially lost it and they sent him back to Hawaii.  His Pac was cut seriously short, lucky bastard.


This other crazy fuck tried to stab Mongo with a pencil.  The guy was a moron and Mongo was letting him know that he was a moron, just in case he wasn’t aware.  The guy lost it and tried to stab him, he later started eating his logs.  That guy’s Pac was also cut short.  Douchebag.


In my journal, I have it written that I crossed the equator on 12/20.  That’s also written on my shellback poster, but the actual ceremony was on New Year’s Eve.  I just remember being woken up (whilst on watch) by some crazy announcement over the 1MC about the ceremony.  I’m pretty sure it was the same chief that gave me my SS board.  He had this crazy pirate voice.  “Arrrgh… ye Wogs get yer asses to the mess decks…”   Something to that effect…


The bottom line was that mission was over and on 12/21 we pulled into Singapore for the Holidays.  Pulling into Singapore sucks because the Maneuvering watch is like 8 hours long due to the insanely high contact density.


The first night in Singapore, Walsh and I got some McDonald’s and just chilled at the hotel room.  We found a liquor store, bought some overpriced Absolut Vodka and made our way back to The Elizabeth hotel, where everyone was put up for the week.  Our goal was to get as drunk as possible in as short a period of time as possible.  Mission accomplished, and… mission accomplished.  We watch a Josh Hartnett movie called 40 Days and 40 Nights.  I don’t remember shit about it.  In the summer of 2008 I was at a friend’s house and saw it again.  I recalled seeing it in Singapore that night, but didn’t remember anything about it.


We blew through the first bottle in a hurry, so Walsh ran to the hotel bar and bought another bottle for what amounted to about 80 US dollars.  Hey, when you’re desperate, you’ll pay anything.  I was feeling sick from all the screwdrivers, and not having drank for the 27 days on mission.  I bolted into the bathroom, threw up, and bid Walsh adieu. And went back to my room to pass out.  I found out the next morning that Walsh went and puked right after me, and did the same thing, passed out wasted.


The next morning I was shook awake by my roommate, Renner.  (He looks just like Jeremy Renner from the film The Hurt Locker).  We had exactly 5 minutes to get our shit together and catch the duty van to the boat to go stand duty.  I was still tanked and continued to be feel the effects of the vodka until about lunchtime.  Of course, when you’re still drunk, it never fails that you have the first watch.  I spent the next 4-5 hours on watch trying to avoid anyone that might notice that I was still drunk.  Luckily, we were in a stand-down mode, so the only people on board were other guys that had duty.  Not fun.


The rest of stand-down was pretty uneventful.  I was warned about the trans-genders on the island.  In fact, my buddy, Doctor, picked up one of them, brought him/her back to the hotel and had one of those realizations that I was talking about.  He had the wherewithal, though, to grab her throat and tell her to swallow (checking for an Adam’s apple).  When she refused, he hollered and screamed at her and kicked her out of his room.  Hilarious.


I was sitting outside a club, or group of clubs.  It was known as the 4 floors of whores.  I was like a shopping mall type building that had four floors.  On each floor there was two or three clubs.  We were at one called Top Ten.  It was nice.  It was an old converted theater.  It had a stage, where a cover band was kicking ass.  The did a Cranberries remake of their song “Zombie” that blew my mind.  The beers were about 7 dollars US, way over priced, but the atmosphere and décor of the place was awesome.


So I’m sitting outside this 4 Floors of Whores and a cute Japanese prostitute sits down next to me and starts rubbing my back.  She is Japanese looking with a British accent.  Hot. She wants me to pay her for sex, and I refuse…repeatedly.  “No, thank you.  I’m rollin’ solo tonight.”  I still had the ‘Doctor story’ burning in my head.  That, coupled with the COB coming over the 1MC before putting down liberty and making it clear that prostitutes in Singapore might have, or have had at one time, a penis.  It’s quite the industry out there.  Pimps will pay for young boys to become girls, so they can make money off of them.  And let’s not forget what happened to me in Guam.  I wanted no part of this game.


Christmas Eve I just laid in bed and watched shitty TV.  I tried to call home with a calling card.  I ended up charging a call from the room to home in Minnesota on the room, which got paid for by God knows who.  Probably the American taxpayers.  If you’ve ever tried to make an international call home from another country, and then tried to use a calling card that’s in all Japanese, then you know what a frustrating ordeal it can be.  Fuck me!


I had duty on Christmas Day. Not too bad; quite relaxing actually.  Watched movies and read a book, same old thing that you do when you’re underway on mission.  Basically, stuck on the boat with nothing else to do.


Next, came the day after Christmas.  December 26th, 2004 which the rest of the world knew at the time that the giant tsunami hit the Indian Ocean.  That day, I went down to Sentosa Island with Junior.  We took a cab, and it was cheap.  In Singapore, there’s 14 million cabs [not a real statistic] and they’re all cheap and you can take them anywhere…except onto the base where the boat was parked.  In fact, the first night, we all wanted to get off base as fast as possible.  I was with my LPO and we didn’t feel like waiting for the duty van, so we just started walking.  I mean, we were in the middle of BFE.  Some random road in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, some random guy pulled over, and the three of us piled into his truck.  He gave a lift down to Orchard Road and when my LPO tried to flip him a few bucks, the guy refused.  Thank you whoever you were.  Random acts of kindness like that are what make me have faith in humanity.


Anyways, I digress.  The day of the tsunami, we had no clue it happened.  I didn’t turn on the TV at all, we didn’t feel a rumble, the skies were kind of cloudy and it was about 85 F and muggy as hell, that’s all I remember.  I think I found out about the disaster from reading a new article underway on mission about a month later.  Being so close to the epicenter of the quake and not feeling it was odd.  But Singapore is kind of insulated from where all the carnage took place.  Look at a map sometime, you’ll see what I mean.


Other things that I remember from that trip.  I had a Singapore Sling at Sentosa.  We went to a movie theater and saw Ocean’s Twelve.  We get in the theater and pick out some seats.  We’re sitting there and a couple comes up to us…”Hey, you’re sitting in our seats.”  I thought that they were just messing with us at first and then I looked at my ticket stub.  Sure as shit, there was a seat number written on in.  Other countries apparently treat their movie theaters like a ball game, whereas here in the U.S. it’s general admission.


Also, spitting was not allowed in Singapore.  Me and Moss were walking back to the hotel and I hock a massive loogie onto the pavement.  He just looked at me with horror, as if there was a cop around the corner, waiting with a cane to pummel me with.  Chewing gum was also not allowed in Singapore.


Shopping is stellar there.  For high-end items, you can bargain with the shop-owner to try to get a better deal.  Guido, the dumb-ass tried to haggle with a clerk at Macy’s.  They don’t do that there dipshit.  It’s just the smaller shops, owned by a single owner.  I tried to haggle for a 8 dollar video game, so I guess that makes me as big of an asshole too, I guess…

ORchard Road
Not my photo, but an idea of what Orchard Road looks like at Christmas-time.


Singapore was also decorated to the hilt for Christmas.  It was amazing.  I’m pretty sure I have some pictures stashed away somewhere.  They aren’t digitized yet because I took them on a disposable camera that I had left from Guam.  I was so stoked to get the pictures developed from that camera because it had some racy photos on it from me and Callysta fooling around with the camera in the hotel room.  I made the mistake of going to a place in Singapore, where everything is more strict.  When I got the photos back, the racy ones I was looking forward to seeing weren’t in there and the negatives were destroyed…  Dammit all.

Published by dbradyf

Gentleman. Scholar.

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