Just having a job this year is a good enough cause to celebrate New Years Eve at work. Besides, I've found enough merrymaking this week than I ever thought I would experience during the holidays at work.
Christmas Eve began with the roasting of one of the two suckling pigs stashed away in the meat reefer. After lunch each of the officers threw 50 dollars into an envelope so the unlicensed could party with full pitchers of beer at their favorite bars all night long and still afford little shots of tequila for the hosteses.
In addition to lechon for lunch another Filipino Christmas tradition was observed. Buena Noche was served as a midnight feast, normally intended for after Christmas Mass. The crew who came back to the ship were greeted with stir fried noodles and the left over pork but had to wait until morning to sober up for the special launch to attend their mass.
On Christmas day I made my way to see a few friends docked once again in Sembawang where I received expert instruction in the concoction of eggnog and watched a riveting horshoe tournament. It turns out that a little amaretto in the nog knocks out any taste of the rum which left two of us in high spirits for the return train ride to downtown.
Today the second pig was roasted over our custom charcoal grill. The boson mates took turns diligently rotating the stainless steel spit crossing their fingers the whole while that we wouldn't depart until tomorrow morning. Though they didn't get their wish at least we'll all save some money over the next week or two as we head towards the South China Sea for this next repair. Tonight after the fire works the other traditional midnight meal will be served of the same ingredients but this one is called Buena Noche instead.
I asked the Captain for a relief today which means I'm beginning to come down with the symptoms of channel fever. Once again I am imagining myself in my own wonderful bed where not a wake up call will be heard. As far as 2009 is concerned it was more of a roller coaster ride than I cared for but that's part of the journey and I'm still here and if you're reading this than you are too so have a Happy New Year! It's time to test gear.