7. Diamonds & Lumber – part 3

The next evening we did not return.  I think the cold (which was very new to me) made us feel a bit tired.  Now the 3rd night, my friends and I agreed to go back and so we all got cleaned up real nice and took a cab to the club as it was perhaps a couple of miles away from the port.

Once we entered my eyes began searching the room for this lovely girl.  I soon realized I felt disappointment as I thought perhaps she was there and I just couldn’t recognize her. The guys and I sat down and had ordered some drinks.

It was nearly an hour later when I sensed I should look up to the entrance door and there she was, coming in with her sisters.  I suddenly felt myself completely relax.

They grabbed an open table nearby and I knew right away she too was looking for me, I just knew it because she smiled big and pretty the moment her eyes met mine.  She was clearly happy that I was there. Now I waited …

A song played on as they settled into the evening.  The next song I felt was absolutely right and with that I stood up and went over to her table, walking around the other girls to approach her.  I said hello and asked her if she’d like to have this dance with me.

I could tell she quickly shot a glance to all of her companions as if asking permission but it was only a couple of seconds and she popped right up, giddy as a schoolgirl gets! We headed to the floor.

It was a slow dance (lucky me!) and we placed ourselves at a gentle distance.  We moved in rhythm with one another as the music swayed us and spoke many words to further acquaint ourselves.

In the expanse of this dance, I learned her name, Sonia and all those girls she was with were her sisters, they were born there in Canada, their mother was French, their father was from Punjab and she was going to school.

She inquired about me and I filled her in with as much detail as she could take and she wanted to know everything about me; all of which completely flattered me of course! When the music stopped we were still holding on to one another, a little closer now, and still talking as though we were the only people in the room.

We walked back to her table and her sisters encouraged me to join them.  She then took the cue from them and began introducing me.  I sat down with Sonia and we all fell into comfortable conversation, mainly they asked me to talk about myself; when did I come to Canada, how long was I going to stay, etc.

Sonia and I shared one more dance that evening as we mostly all did a lot of talking at the table. My friends too had their own entertainment going on, they danced and had a good time as well.

It was getting late, we had to get back to the ship and the girls admitted they too had to get home.  They asked if I’d be back tomorrow evening but I couldn’t promise.  I knew that more than anything I wanted to see her again.

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7. Diamonds & Lumber – part 1

At this time Honolulu was protected by United States but still independent from America.

This first experience I had on this job was a seven-day journey from Fiji to Hawaii; this was just the first leg.  My shipboard position placed me in the pantry, which is where we prepared the foods that were just cooked in the kitchen for the waiters to serve the passengers in the dinning room.

Even though this was a cargo ship, there would be passengers on board.  These people paid good money to be on a cargo ship instead of a cruise ship mainly because the stops in port were for longer periods of time.  Plus it’s not as crowded.

While on the ship we worked every day but we also had several long breaks in between meal times.  The routine is easy to follow and it works flawlessly.  My new friends, workmates and I would always listen to music, we’d play cards a lot and enjoy a beer or two along with lots of great conversations; life-stories and what have you.

I did my best to take my time off responsibly as call of duty was 6am regardless, there were no excuses and no exceptions; passengers were my duty, that’s it!

I will tell you some thoughts I initially had while out at sea on this very first adventure of mine. I missed my mother terribly, my sister-in-law’s cooking and my close family members and friends.

I was not scared about anything; I loved the ocean so very much.  I felt its beauty as I saw its power and in its calm and rough faces I knew I made the right choice.  I have to admit here, I did experience seasickness at a point for a couple of days, and then it was over and thankfully didn’t occur while I was at my post.

And just so you have a little idea of how the mornings went along, I share this:  after breakfast service was over, we’d clean the dining room and set up for lunch service.

Then we could order from the chef anything we wanted to eat and it was our turn to enjoy a very nice breakfast. I do recall the chef definitely took pride in his meal preparations for anyone that would be eating his food and a bonus; he was a very nice man.

After breakfast it was time for us to get into the passengers’ rooms and tidy them up.  We were multi-taskers as this ship was not staffed the same as a luxury liner would be.

The captain’s boy who had originally set me up for this position on board the SS Lakemba kept me at his side and we’d handle the skipper’s quarters.  Once all the rooms were done, we had to get our own cabins cleaned up.

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Once again I thank you for checking back with us.  I hope everyone has been enjoying the holiday season in one form or another.  The Little Blue Masala has finally set sail, tasting the open sea and different climates too!  Well, at some point we all have to get our feet wet don’t we?