I guess I spoke too soon.
It's 6.00am on Thursday morning and I've just endured a 15 hour bus ride from Miri back to Kuching.
So what happened? Well, the original plan was for me to stay in Miri for a few days before deploying. Usually this is how these things work. However due to some circumstances and last minute changes I'm going off in the 2nd week of May instead. Which is great news because that means I can tie up some unfinished business and put in some extra training before mobilizing. And to see all my friends off course.
This could still change though. They could still call me later and ask me to pack up and go immediately. These things can happen too.
It wasn't a complete waste of time though. I got to talk with the new boss, hung out with a friend I haven't met in a while and most importantly, signed a contract. The money's pretty good and I'm pleased with it.
Also, I'm feeling a lot less nervous about the whole thing. I guess some mental conditioning was required. The first call really caught me off guard and by this time I wasn't thinking about going off at all. After hanging out and meeting the new boss and talking to some people I feel like I'm ready for it. As ready as a noob radioman will be anyway.
Right now, my tentative itinerary would involve flying out to Singapore then to Batam then to the barge off the coast. I say tentative because again, things can change at the last minute.
I guess all that's left to do now is to prepare as well as possible and try to do well. Things are going to change quite a bit this year.
Finally for some off topic comments.
I forgot one very important preflight rule yesterday morning. Avoid caffeine. It increases the blood pressure and during descent one blood vessel behind my left eye started throbbing and it hurt like a motherf***er.
Long bus rides are not fun even on a reasonably comfortable bus. Also in order to appreciate how big Sarawak really is, a bus ride from Miri to Kuching (or vice versa) would put that into perspective quite clearly. I left at 1400 yesterday afternoon. We stopped in Batu Niah, Bintulu, Selangau and Sibu before fueling up at the Penrissen Shell station. Arrived in 4th mile at 0451 this morning.
I won't be doing that again anytime soon. Unless I'm broke and desperate to get home. The ticket cost 80 bucks by the way.
The plan this week is to clear some debts and transfer some reserve funds into my savings account. If all goes well, I'll get all my money back and more within six months.
Wish me luck!