Blessed…

…is the word that keeps coming to my mind for the past few months. Well for the past year really. People say that we attract the things we feel (you know, Law of Attraction & The Secret and all that stuff) and I truly believe it to be a real fact. I’m an optimist most of the time and by staying that way, the Universe has somehow given me back the same positive energy I’ve given to it. There are some days when I feel like shit but by constantly reminding myself of all the good things that has happened – I manage to pull myself through the bad moments and focus on creating happy ones. It does take some practice and some sheer willpower when you first start but it’s pretty automatic once you set your mind to it.

So, back to feeling this way. I guess I never really practiced it until one major moment in my life. Well, nothing super major but it was enough to impact the way I think. I have just returned from working in Singapore and was looking for a job back home. I’ve tried  applying to the hotels in my hometown but none were able to match the salary I was asking for and I didn’t really have anything else I want to do in Penang (the bulk of the workforce lies in manufacturing, banking and hospitality). What I did then was to also apply for jobs in the city and lo and behold, I managed to get myself a job with one prestigious beauty brand – I was completely over the moon when I received the call!

Since then, there has been many instances when I feel completely lucky and blessed – especially when I received news that I have been accepted to work on the cruise ship. It wasn’t a lifelong dream plus there really aren’t many seafarers in Malaysia but I’ve always wanted to travel the world and trying to apply for it is already hard enough. It’s really a lucky moment for me if I say so myself.

Fast track few months later, I was traveling to places I’ve never thought I’ll ever see. It might feel like nothing for some but for me coming from a little country on the Equator this felt like a once in a lifetime thing. The best thing is, there were so many once in the lifetime moments that I kept thinking to myself, “I’m so blessed”. So blessed to be here, so blessed to be able to experience this, so blessed to be alive.

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My first time in the Caribbean and off the ship in Regal, beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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I only had one chance to visit Cozumel, Mexico as it was the last cruise before the crossing but having Mexican food by the sea was an incredible experience. 

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Sailing on a catamaran and drinking rum punch at St. Thomas after we snorkeled with sea turtles. First time trying rum punch, first time on a catamaran, first time snorkeling! Sadly, St. Thomas was hit by Hurricane Irma recently…

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We had around 10 days of dry dock in Hamburg, which is also another city I love. So many things going on here and it was a blessing to have so much time to explore the city!

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Also seen snow for the first time in Sweden! I was ecstatic!

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Like,  look at me! Haha!

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And who can forget beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia? This church is my favorite part of  the city, by the way.

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Plus I also tried this very pretty and yummy breakfast at Grand Hotel Stockholm –  paid a pretty hefty price but well, moments matter.

Another 3 more weeks to go towards my next adventure! I know some of you are curious to know where I’m going next so I’m going to talk about it in my next entry. ‘Til then, safe travels!

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Dear Daddy

Suddenly, I miss my dad.

Like, I know I miss my dad – it’s not a feeling that you can switch on and off. Well, sometimes you can. I know that’s what I do most of the time now. When there’s stuff to focus on I keep the focus and switch it off. It helps to not think. It also helps to not focus on the negatives like how I was home 6 months ago and dad was there and now after 6 months he’s gone. Or how I shouldn’t have done this and stayed closer to home and perhaps it would have lessen my guilt. Or how I should have been a better daughter…you know, fulfilled his dreams or something.

I guess I’ve never had the chance to properly grieve for the loss of my dad. When he was feeling sick I was halfway around the world, trying to do my job while keeping an eye and an ear for updates on dad’s health. When I was in the middle of packing to catch my flight in the afternoon, news came that he was already gone. My reaction to the news scared me to be honest. I was calm and accepting. I was sad but I was keeping it together. My room mate couldn’t keep it together and he wasn’t even her father to begin with. I think I was staying strong because 1) I have a few flights to catch, 2) I didn’t want to be bawling all over the ship 3) I didn’t want anyone to worry about me and 4) Because there’s nothing I can do to bring him back.

So there I was, rushing to the HR, rushing to pack, rushing to the airports and finally back home. I saw his body lying in state, I saw my family and I saw my relatives. The brave front stayed on, until today. I just can’t afford to lose it. It has always been us looking at dad, looking at mum, depending on them to be the adults. Suddenly mum is looking at us and so yeah, we are the adults now.

I admit that there is a part of me that blames him for leaving so soon. Like why do you have to go before I came back? Why do you have to curse me with this eternal guilt of being the daughter that wasn’t there? Those were the thoughts of my childish mind. When I try to reason properly with that child, I know that my dad would always want me to be happy. Maybe he didn’t want me to forget the vision I have of him before I went away – not the shadow that was left when cancer consumed him. Maybe he was happy to know that I’m on my way home – and that was enough to bring him peace. Maybe…

So right now, I’m feeling part guilt, part anger and part acceptance. It doesn’t matter which part is bigger – his presence is still a big part of our lives as a family. I know we all think about him and will  continue to do so as  we carry on with our lives. It’s cocky of me to say it but I’m my daddy’s girl.

It’s been a great 29 years with you dad. Do watch over us and we’ll see you soon.

#Shiplife Series: Counting Down & Things to Pack!

Hey ya’ll!

Just came back from my little family vacation to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and ready to start counting down to life on-board again. Still haven’t gotten rid of my night owl syndrome – it’s almost 2 a.m. here and I’m craving for another cup of Vietnamese coffee, yum. In another 24 days, I’ll be embarking my ship and starting another 5.5 months at sea so updates will most likely be scarce – if not non-existent. I’m not really planning on bringing my laptop with me this time 1) Because the battery is dead and needs replacing, 2) I’ve only used my laptop for a record breaking 2 times during my last contract. Trust me, I’m such a tech addict that I’m constantly glued to my cell & my laptop most of the time but no, I wasn’t because it was such a chore to set up and I didn’t want my laptop to suck up all my data with its’ updates. So nope, most likely laptop stays at home.

Since it’s almost time to pack and leave and say goodbye I figured I might as well plan the stuff that I need to buy / pack before I forget and screw everything up. This time, I’m upgrading to a larger suitcase instead of bring 2 medium sized ones. Haven’t bought the large suitcase yet though so yes, that’s on my list too.

  1. New uniforms – Like what happened to the old ones? I still have a couple of the white shirts with me but planning to get me some new ones to go with. New blazers, new pants as well because some of them were worn so bad. Maybe a skirt?
  2. Shoes – I’m actually contemplating on this. Like I have a pair that I was wearing which was still fine but maybe I should get another pair. IDK.
  3. Sanitary pads, panadol actifast, medicated oil – Literally the most important for my survival. Must remember to bring 6 months’ worth. Oh yes and some watermelon seed powder for those annoying canker sores.
  4. Snacks – I totally didn’t bring any previously and was fine but it’ll be nice to at least bring some coffee. I plan on bringing instant coffee (and my Vietnamese ones with the fancy drip), these super yummy Vietnamese chili salt thingie to sprinkle on when food is tasteless AF, instant rice vermicelli (PAMA brand from Thailand), MILO (would be lifesaver) & Nestum (also another lifesaver).
  5. Toiletries – Will need to buy shampoo & shower gel. Also need to stock up on my Innisfree face masks when I visit the city – those masks are amazing and pretty cheap, around $1 for a piece. Might want to buy some eye shadow as I dropped my backpack on my way back and some of  the colors of my old palette did not survive.
  6. Socks, stockings, undies. Self explanatory
  7. I actually need winter wear but I probably can buy them when in port so nah…
  8. Chopsticks. I think I lost a part of myself back then as I  was eating noodles with a fork, like seriously?!
  9. All my useless essentials – very ironic. My hair dryer and curling iron, garment steamer, gel nail kit, electric jug kettle.
  10. Perhaps a mug and a bowl.

Like seriously, what about the other more important stuff?! Well those I don’t usually forget, like my clothes and flip flops but the rest might get forgotten especially if I keep the packing ’til the last minute.

Ah, life.

 

 

#Shiplife Series: Life as a Crew Member on-board a Cruise Ship.

So what happens on a cruise ship? How does life on-board differ to life on land?  It really depends on what kind of lifestyle you were living in prior to being on the ship and I’ll help you answer some stuff you’re wondering about based on my experience!

Travel time to work

A little background story before I start. Your girl here has been living by herself for a while, even before starting work on the ship. I moved to the city when I was 20 years’ old to study and I’ve been living by myself ever since. Well technically I shared the house with my housemates but everything I do on my own. When I started studying I didn’t have a car so I relied on my own two feet and a lot of public transport to get around and even when after I bought a car I still prefer to drive to the train station and take the the train to the city. So that being said, the biggest difference for me  when  comparing life on-board vs. life on land is not really the distance.  Like yeah, I used to visit family every 2 months or so for maybe, 3 days and drive back to the city vs. only being able to go back home every 6 months but staying on for 2 months (they’re all sick of me now I think) but really, the time and distance to go to your workplace is huggeee.

I used to wake up at 6.45 a.m. and leave my house around 8 a.m. to drive to the train station. I arrive to work at 9.15 a.m. On the ship, I can wake up at 7.45 a.m. and be at the crew mess to eat at 8.30 a.m. and at work by 8.50 a.m. There was once when I was living alone in the cabin that I overslept and woke up at 8.40 a.m. I was in the morning briefing by 8.50 a.m., lol. So yes, your workplace is literally 5 minutes away when you’re on the ship vs. an hour away or something ridiculous like that. My roomie and I would complain that the crew mess is TOO FAR when really, it’s just a 5 minutes’ walk, haha.

 

Food choices

When I was working at home, I used to eat really badly because one, I was alone and too lazy to cook for one person, the better, more nutritional  meals were expensive and sometimes it is more convenient to just order fast food. I would buy nasi lemak (traditional Malaysian food consisting of coconut milk cooked rice and condiments) for breakfast, have Mamak for lunch (mostly rice, curry,  fried chicken and salted egg) and something simple like noodles for dinner. Some days I’ll scratch my head thinking about what to eat which right now doesn’t happen anymore because everything is done for you! We’re so spoiled, haha. The crew gets wholesome  food on board and while sometimes the food gets repetitive, it’s healthy  enough (if you want it to be). There’s always fruit and salad bar, we get soups (usually Filipino sabaw or some random Ukrainian/Serbian fare), rice and other stuff like fish, chicken, beef, sandwiches etc. We also get a pizza parlour everyday but not on every ship so if you like being pizzas, it’s a treat!

Activities on-board

The comments that I received before I left was either I  was going to “drink seawater and starve” or that I was going to “get so fat” but well. For those of you who are worried that you might not lead the same healthy lifestyle you had before you left, fear not! There’s the crew gym and also the passenger gym (for those of you with deck privileges) plus there’s always crew health initiatives on-board (eg. yoga, zumba, etc.)

We also have TV in our cabins so we don’t exactly “die of  boredom” on the ship not to mention lots of crew activities! There were crew bingo, karaoke nights, wine and cheese nights, latin disco nights, etc. plenty of stuff to keep you occupied. Back home, most activities calls for money, except maybe walks in the park and stuff.

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Chores

Like laundry and cleaning your room. I  used to do the same when I was living alone but heck, I only cleaned my room when I feel like it. As for the ship, we have crew rounds every week which meant that the room will have to be spick and span when the inspectors come around. The space is small and you do share the load of cleaning with your roommate so it’s not much but still. Apart from that, you don’t do much cleaning – you don’t even need to clean your plate after you eat.

Free time

Perhaps this is a little more substantial when comparing life on the ship and at home. I used to work a 5 day week and have weekends off to just chill and be lazy. On the ship, free time is a luxury and even a 30 minute nap is Godsend. Privacy would be another thing I would like to talk about. You get to be alone most of the time at home if you’re living alone but on the ship, you’re likely to be sharing the cabin with another colleague. Your space is also their space and while there’s always curtains around your bed to give you a little privacy, you basically most of  the time together.

Relationships

You go to work and at most spend around maybe 60 hours a week with your colleagues but when you’re on the ship, you literally see each other all the time. You work everyday together, probably live together, eat together, party together, you get the gist. There’s definitely groups of people who hang out more often together but you can’t escape the fact that you need to live if not co-exist with the same people for long periods of time. You tend to make really close friends and sometimes enemies for others but oh well, people come and people go – if you really can’t stand someone, just remember that they  will leave too. Can’t say that for your colleagues working on land though, you just don’t know when they will leave, haha. Culture and upbringing are also a whole lot diverse on the ship as we are most of the time exposed to only the majority of  the locals where we come from but nope, it’s like a huge melting pot on-board. There’s so much to learn from each other and as long as everyone is considerate and respectful it’s easy to get along.

The little extras

When you live  with such a huge community there’s bound to be some unwritten rule or “mafia” business going on. Need a local SIM card? Looking for the noodle guy? It’s useful to ask around and know more people – it does help to have some connections on-board. As for going around the ports, did I mention shore excursion escorts? It’s basically a volunteer position which you can sign up for during your time off. If you’re selected, you  are able to go on shore excursions with the passengers – in exchange for a little bit of your time in helping out the shore-ex team. One of  the best ways to enjoy the ports as you literally go for free on the tours!

 

 

#Shiplife Series: What to Bring on your Contract on-board a Cruise Ship

This was indeed the biggest question I had before embarking on my  first contract. Like how do I pack 6 months of my life into two luggages? Why only two? Well that is the number of bags allowed and covered by the company, any more and you probably will have to bear the additional charges, let alone be cursed by your roommate, haha.

So my main concern at that time was how big of a luggage should I be bringing? In the end I decided to bring two medium sized luggage, around 28″ each. It was sufficient but clearly I wasn’t bringing enough space for souvenirs and stuff. I would suggest bringing a large sized one (36″) and a medium one. I know, I’ve read tons of articles advising crew members to pack light but seriously, bring them bags. The smaller bag can always go into the larger one once you’ve unpacked and voila, you don’t take up as much space as you think. There’s also space underneath the bunk bed to store your luggage if you need to.

Once you’ve got your luggage figured out, these are the essentials (in my humble opinion) to survive your contract on-board. I wouldn’t ask you to bring your important documents like passport, medical cert etc. like come on, that’s general knowledge – don’t ever forget though!

  1. Obviously some clothing. Pack according to the itinerary you’re heading to. If you’re mostly doing hot summer ports of call, bring a light jacket and a sweater just in case the weather changes. Temperature on  the ship tends to get a little cold too with the A/C so it’s nice to have something warm and snuggly. Pack some casual wear for days out in port and maybe 1 or 2 pieces of dressier items for nights out (overnights maybe?) or the crew bar. Or even special occasions, you know how that happens. A note of caution though, don’t pack too much! I figured that I was pretty genius and packed everything and in the end I went shopping and bought more. So yeah. Don’t forget other pieces of clothing like your PJs, swimsuit (for the sea or maybe the crew pool / jacuzzi?), gym clothes, lots of underwear and maybe some shirts for your uniform (it depends if it is provided by your company or if you are required to get your own).

2. Toiletries! The mother of all necessities. I packed like, full sized bottles of the things I like to use and I was glad I did. If you’re not fussy, you can always buy some at the crew shop (shampoo, body gel, lotion etc.) but I like to use the things I like so I brought shampoo, shower gel, cleanser, moisturizer, etc literally everything to the ship. In the end I still needed to get myself tons of Nivea lotion though as my skin was cracking due to the dry weather. But yes, if you really love your products bring them if you think you’re not able to get them wherever you’re at. I had fun trying on some new stuff I found at the ports too so guess what, harharhar.

Bring your makeup! I ran out of foundation/BB cream, eyeliner and eyebrow pencil soon enough but as I wasn’t too picky with what I use I went and got some new stuff from the local drugstore. You get my gist. What I really regretted and what went through my mind throughout my contract was how I should have packed a luggage full of my go-to sanitary napkins. Just imagine having to be at sea, away from home and finding the hard truth that nope, not all sanitary napkins are the same. Just to divert a little, the ones in Europe are sort of thin – I don’t know.  What I know was that I could hear myself wishing that I brought 6 months’ worth of my favorite brand with me – screw luggage space, pads are important.

3. Medication. This is super important if you’re the type to fall sick easily but even if you’re not, be prepared! I know I get very painful menstrual cramps every month and depend on this one holy grail Panadol Actifast to feel better so I bought like maybe, 60 pills with me? (Don’t worry, I DID NOT FINISHED ALL OF THEM!) But yes, these are Godsend when you don’t feel good so please, don’t take this lightly. Bring any possible medication that you might need and if they’re over the counter types, it should be no problem but if they’re prescription drugs, do remember to inform the medical once you get on-board. Should there be any random drug search and if you so unfortunately was one of the people selected, the declaration will save your ass. Like really, I’m not joking. Anyway! I also brought with me a very typical Asian aunty remedy for bad days – MEDICATED OIL! I love, love, love the smell and the heat does help with little discomforts. Apparently my roomie also loves it and she’s Mexican, go figure.

4. Technology. This might not apply to everyone but in this time, everyone needs some  kind of tech to survive right? Maybe? I’ll admit, I was too ambitious and brought everything with me to the ship. Really. I took with me my laptop, cell phone, action cam, mirrorless cam, Kindle, HDD drive and various accessories (chargers, tripod and all that shit.) So. If you spend most of your time with gadgets, be it for work or maybe you just don’t like humans –  go for it. As for me, I love my tech. I wanted to  take photos and make  videos and blog and watch movies blablabla…it didn’t happen. What I really wanted to say is, bring whatever you need. I thought I needed my laptop. Wrong. Imagine paying for 660MB at $40 – you’ll be trying to save as much data as possible. I thought I would bring my laptop out during port days. Wrong again. There’s just too much to see and do and lugging a laptop around isn’t really convenient tbh. Most of the time I only used my phone for catching up and updating stuff on Facebook and Instagram. Photos too, which eliminated the need for the action cam and the mirrorless camera. Damn. As for movies, my company did really well on this and we constantly have new movies to watch on the TV so there you go. I only used my laptop for a record of two times during my first contract – I don’t think I will be bring it with me this time.

The kind of tech I would bring? My cell phone. Adapters. Especially when the ship has EU & US plug points but no 3 pin Asian ones. A hairdryer, power bank, electric jug kettle. Imagine wanting to eat noodles and you have no hot water. Or coffee. I would highly recommend a kettle if you can. My roomie also spoiled me for life as she brought along a handheld garment steamer (there’s always the iron in the laundry room though), hair curler & straightener, also a gel manicure set. Whatever rocks your boat but I’m a changed woman.

5. Little things from home. The stuff that matters of course. I know a fellow colleague who packed an entire luggage full of his favorite snacks. Bring your favorite type of coffee. Photos and trinkets. It may seem troublesome (that’s what I thought initially) but these little things do keep you grounded and sane. I placed pictures of my family and friends on the wall next to my bed so that I can be reminded of them.

20170622_212517Yep, just me and my wall.

There’s a couple more I would like to talk about but I’ll save it for another day. Til then, safe travels! 🚢

#Shiplife Series: Top 10 Most Asked Questions about Life On-board.

Questions that I’ve been asked countless times and I don’t blame anyone for asking them. It’s not widely shared and people are curious (they’re great conversation starters tbh.) so here goes! Everything is based on my experience so there might be some difference for others:

  1. How did you get this job?

Always a general favorite with the passengers on board. If you’re really interested, here’s the links Part One and Part Two

2.  Do you get to go off the ship?

Well, yes. Some of us are much luckier (for instance the boutique and the casino staff) and get more free time in general which gives us more opportunity to visit the ports of call. Other departments do get time off  on a rotation basis too so there’s definitely an opportunity for everyone to get off the ship.

3. Do you get days off?

No we don’t. Not officially though as it depends on the itinerary as well as the department you’re in. When I was working in the Regal during Baltic season we do have an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia so it sort of counted as a day off for us in the boutiques. The Baltic was a great itinerary 🙂

4. How do you get to the ship?

Trust me, this is a pretty popular question as well. Many people are not really  aware of the complexity of cruise ship operations and this question always crack me up inside. Some assumed that I will get picked up in port by the ship or at least transshipped  from one ship to another until I reach my destination. Well, not really – we travel to meet our ships by flights arranged by our company. Yep, everything from flights to hotel lodging and meals arranged and paid for. We’re a pretty spoiled bunch.

5. Where  do you live / what kind of  living arrangements you have?

We live on the ship, just like the rest of the passengers with majority of the crew on Deck 3 & 4. Below sea level? Yes. Porthole? Just for some officers. There are some that lived on Deck 7 & 8 as well, most of the time it depends on the rank and the place where you work. Majority of us live with a cabin mate. Yes, we have a bathroom in the cabin – it’s not really as communal as you think. Some crew might have 4 to a bathroom ( 2 rooms sharing) but I lived pretty comfortably.

6. How long do you work / what are  the working hours like?

A  typical contract will be 6 – 8 months for majority of the crew on-board and a  normal working day will be around 12 hours. That being said, I never really worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6 months. I only work from the time the ship is sailing which is typically 5-6 hours on a port day and maybe 10-12 hours on a sea day.  

7. Where have you traveled to?

I’ve been pretty blessed to be able to visit so many places during my first contract as I started in between seasons (East Caribbean – Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, etc. and the Baltic – Denmark, Russia, Sweden, etc.). In between I had the transatlantic crossing  through Portugal, Belgium, France and also dry dock in Germany…let’s just say the list is pretty substantial for 6 months. 

8. Do you have to pay for your traveling expenses / any expenses on the ship?

All our traveling expenses to the ship will be covered by the company. As for paying for stuff on-board – most of the bills come from buying drinking water, the crew bar, some perfume or skincare  you need, snacks and necessities from the crew shop and maybe an occasional dinner or two from the specialty restaurant on the ship.

9. Do you get to choose the ship?

Nope, the deployment is arranged based on the needs of the ship and the availability of headcount. You can always try to request but let’s just say it might take a while or it might never happen.

10. What made you come to work on a cruise ship?

The classic question, lol deserves a classic answer. There’s a million ways to travel and when there’s a chance to see the world and work at the same time with most of your expenses paid for – this is not a chance you let go off  easily. 

Finally back from my first contract!

I did it! Finished one contract on-board a cruise ship, now what can you pessimists say about that?

I didn’t exactly manage to complete my  6 months. I did  5.5, around 2 weeks of training and exactly 5 months on the Regal. I had to go, mainly because Dad was really, really sick. He passed exactly the day I was going to fly home to see him – either way I’m having mixed feelings about this outcome but what can I do except move on right?

There’s just tons to share but many more that’s hard to explain – the sights, the sounds, the feeling…it’s just like being in a little world of your own sometimes, with nobody to understand you except those that have been on the ship before. It’s just complicated.

So what have I been doing since my return?  Nothing much really, I spent some  time catching up with friends and staying home to recuperate – imagine watching seasons of Game of Thrones nonstop and that would be me. Eat, sleep and repeat.

I’ll be posting some stuff once I organize my bearings!

#Shiplife Series: Training on the Ship.

It’s been 12 days since I’ve left Malaysia to join the ship. Time has passed so quickly that I was just living in the moment, one day at a time and everything seemed so vivid yet so blurry that I’m beginning to question the reality of things, haha. I guess that’s how I will sum up shiplife at the moment. You live in the reality and your reality is your life onboard the ship. Everything else outside is somewhat irrelevant.

The company has been really lovely to us and took care of our needs pretty well. We had a pickup from the hotel in Honolulu to the ship and there were people at the immigration point waiting for us to bring us to the ship. We got to the crew office and the managers from our department took us to our rooms and once  everyone arrived we were handed over to our trainer.

It was a complete  whirlwind from that point onwards – getting our uniforms,  going for training, getting lost around the ship, getting our crew IDs, flu shots…it was really nice of the company to  organize the training for us, especially those who are new to ships. We learnt our emergency signals, what to do during a fire or when we feel sick as well as stuff about the company. We also made plenty of friends and it was really nice to find people you have things in common with. Kinda sad that we’re all transhipped to different ships now, some of them are still together but well,  not me.

I’ve read some horror stories about the food in the crew mess and let me tell you, the food in my ship was amazing, at least to my  standards. I often have to fuss about what to eat and this is a nice change from having to settle my own meals  to being fed with yummy, proper food. I’m trying to take less portions as I am in danger of getting fatter and fatter.

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One of the meals I had in the staff mess.

The ship that I was in is relatively small and could hold about 2600 passengers. It wasn’t super hard to navigate once you know your way.

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The Wardroom or officer’s bar. Apparently staff are able to come here as well. I never went, only during our training.

 

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Some of the activities planned for the officer’s bar.There’s also a calendar of activities for the crew  recreation room which I didn’t take a photo of.
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Casual top which I probably will not be wearing in future as my role requires formal wear on a daily basis.

I’ll be going on my new ship tomorrow and I’m pretty nervous about it. What if I get a horrible cabin mate? What if everyone’s nasty? Well no point worrying plus the itinerary is going to be awesome. I’ll be doing Caribbean for 2 weeks and will be sailing off to the Baltics from April onwards! Perhaps I should focus on that thought…

Challenging the Asian Life Formula

“Is that like your dream job?” my inquisitive co-worker asked.

“Well, it’s not really a dream job”.

My dream job consists of me having no job yet the ability to spin money out of pure Malaysian humidity which will make me very rich indeed.

Many have questioned my sudden decision. Most who probably feel I’m having “delusions of grandeur”. Who knows, maybe I am. Some people, probably out of  sheer politeness or maybe  just out of plain shock said nothing. Some people asked too much. Some people were feeding me lines I don’t want to hear. Yep, the rules to the Asian Life Formula.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the guide to living a somewhat “successful”  Asian life, there are a few stages to which you go through in life.

First, you study hard. And make sure you get into University because that’s what most people do.

Then you get a “good” job once you graduate. I thought I knew what a good job was. I believe good in that context meant something stable and most likely in an office setting. I guess the worse  you could do is not have a job rather than have a bad job, haha.

You then get a spouse, get married, buy property (doesn’t really matter if you can afford them or not or whether it makes sense, property is stability!). After that, have kids and slog away raising them and paying your mountain of debt. Your kids will grow up and hopefully be decent people  of society.

Don’t get me wrong and don’t start flying into a rage.

I know some people who did well and are happy with their lives. It’s really nice to come home to a cosy house  and family and go to work knowing everything is going well. But this isn’t me.

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell”. I quote Belle from Beauty and the Beast, lol. Darn those Disney movies. And the Little Mermaid? “When’s it my turn? Wouldn’t I love? Love to explore the shore up above?” Again I digress.

I had my fair share of the whole Asian formula thing. I went to school, didn’t study much but hey I did get pretty decent grades. I went to university. Had boyfriends. Worked with some amazing companies.

“Still no boyfriend?”

“Still not married?”

“People your age should focus on a stable career.”

“Are your parents okay with this?”

You know, I might really wake up one day and regret everything I said today. I might even laugh at myself for being so stupid. Like har har, should have just stayed with that job and all this shit wouldn’t have happened , har har.

But I want to be foolish.

I want to go all out and be out there, instead of wishing I have done it. I couldn’t give two toots to the kind of life that wants me to settle – married with 10 babies and all.

Most likely I wouldn’t end up rich, famous or driving a BMW. But I’m cool with that.

 

 

#Shiplife Series – Prologue

This is it. The big one. I’m just bursting trying to hold the news in and it won’t be known to everyone, well for at least a few  weeks. I’m pretty sure the people I know don’t read my blog, especially when I’m not sharing the link on social media.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, I mentioned that I was getting a certificate of good conduct from the Malaysian government and that I will be sharing the purpose of why I was getting it for in the near future when everything is confirmed.

Well, guess what? I’m heading to the seas y’all!

I have just gotten the certificate of good conduct and my U.S. visa approved! Yet to schedule an appointment for my medical checkup but will do it soon! Hopefully all goes well and there is nothing wrong with my health, else I wouldn’t be able to head to the ships.

I’m trying not to get too overexcited simply because I haven’t had 100% confirmation but things are looking pretty good so far to me (with the visa application being the most challenging, I think). Fingers crossed, I shall be able to share better news in a week or two. Til then, happy December!