I am back in Perth after my BKK stint. The QV 1 is winding down and we are doing curtain walls and internal services.
I grab a chance to go to Batam Island in Indonesia (about 40 min off Singapore). We were building the jacket and the modules for the Chevron Nugini Kutubu project. This was to be followed up with a hook up off Kutubu and I was to spend 12 weeks at sea on the BOS 355 down the track.
Board the plane Perth-Singapore. Easy, relatively short flight, a few brewskies and we’re good. In these days, Singapore was still under Lee Quan Yu so they gave you a hard time when your hair was too long…mine wasn’t.
Got to Changi, walked off the plane and the humidity hit me like a warm wet towel across the face.
I was met by a local employee from Bouyges Offshore and dropped to the hotel for the night..
Too knackered to go to the hotel bar….sleep…at 7 am off to Finger Pier (stupid name) to take the Ferry to Batam.
This was the beginning of an awesome time where eventually I met my now ex…
So in Batam, it is a tax free island, cheap booze…worked for me. The main town is called Nagoya but most of the Island was used for offshore construction yards.
At the first I was in a hotel until the company could secure me a house.
Next to the hotel was a “Coffee Shop”…hmmm….since I am not a Coffee drinker, I went anyway to check it out, acting on a tip off from the hotel doorman.
OK. it is called ‘Mega’…interesting name for a coffee shop. Had to walk through heavy curtains and rock music inside (Indo being Muslim, all these places were kind of disguised but every one knew anyway)…guys you know where this is going right.
Dark inside, local girls some pretty some rough…ok Chinese Singaporeans sneaking around…spineless pricks.
I grab a beer. I meet Ida. Cute as….I didn’t speak Indonesian then but somehow we managed to have a good time and we hooked up. After Thailand, this was a totally different experience. I don’t think she drank a lot but I managed to get her shit faced to a degree I had to carry her to the taxi and my mate, the doorman had to help me to get her to the room…some coffee shop right. I wasn’t too fresh either so we both slept it off and both looked like shit in the morning…Selamat Datang Indonesia!
We were hitting site hard…work sun up to sun down, which is basically from 6am to 6pm. We all went through several litres of water a day to stay hydrated. The Project Manager was a nice guy but he was pushing the project hard. The 355 was booked for the hook up and shit had to be out there in Kutubu in one years time. Everytime a Manitou crane used for the roll over stood idle shit hit the fan…..
But with all this going on, we used to leave site around 6.30 at night, straight to meet at the Mega.
Still in work clothes, covered in dust and shit…no worries. The girls knew we were coming. A mix of thirsty Aussies and French guys…We hit the Heinekens and it was on.
Ida was there most of the time waiting and we had some top times and I slowly started to learn the Indonesian language which is a shit load easier than Thai.
Eventually I met a girl called Rosa…she took me for lunch to a traditional Indonesian restaurant which is a bit like Dim Sum…so lots of little plates of stuff (padang food). I was not used to this shit and I tell you, fucked if I know what most of it was. I soldiered on, not wanting to appear like a pussy, washing it down with Bourbon and Coke.
Long story short, Rosa and me didn’t do much that night as she was in bed and I was in the toilet
spraying from every orifice in my body. She thought that was hilarious….I did not agree…