2011.04.10 - Dodgy ankle
Name-givings on crutches
Two days before the first planned sea trial, the Yard delayed all the remaining schedule with one week, so Paula and I celebrated the new freedom last weekend with a shopping trip (work - had to find gifts for the naming ceremonies) and a movie on Saturday. We went to see Meet the Parents III which was a huge disappointment. It excelled in not-funniness only.....
Sunday I went for a volleyball game with the Russians. This was an even bigger disappointment than the movie the previous evening. After only 10 minutes of play I came down from a blockade and landed on top of another player's foot. I twisted my ankle badly and had to immediately make my way to the hospital - picking up Paula on the way. Here I was equipped with a splinter and told to return in 4 days. Great !
Ice pack - the Korean death-trap crutches in the back
The swelling is less severe now - after two days of rest
So that meant no sea trial and two naming ceremonies and dinners on crutches. Going through these days on Korean crutches has left my poor body in the Swedish colors and immediately after returning to Ulsan I ordered some normal crutches from our main office. Hope they will be better.
Enjoying Paula's uncle's wine. I ordered it for the naming ceremony, but we couldn't get enough bottles, so had to go for the 08 vintage, which turned out to from another vineyard
The namegivings .... Well, first of all I had spent the previous 10 days trying to arrange airport transfers, hotel, lunch, dinners etc to an ever-changing list of attendants. In the end about 23 overseas guests arrived to the first namegiving, togeher with about 50 local guests. It was a pretty big event but all went well. My biggest hurdle was when the shipyard pursuaded me to be lifted up to the wheelhouse in a basket for the ceremony there, only to tell me afterwards that I had to descend 5 stories by myself in order to get on to the basket again for the trip back to the quay side. Typical !!
It was a little funny to run into a known face at the coffee break before the ceremony. I was telling Paula that the wife of theYard second-in-command was her nurse from last year, but we couldn't really square this off with the ultra-high position of her husband. At the wheelhouse ceremony she came over to Paula and said that she remembered her from her work, so that saved us from what could have been an akward question (if we were wrong). It was funny to see my bosses reaction when they saw the wife of the highest ranking Yard attendant giving her phone number to Paula saying "I'll call you so we can go for a coffee" !!! I wonder what went through their heads ! (obviously that their site manager has a very popular wife !)
In the evening we had arranged the post-naming dinner (the yard arranges the ceremony and the lunch) at the APEC House in Busan. This was the venue of the APEC meeting in 2005, so we were walking (scrambling along on crutches) in the footsteps of presidents.... It really is an amazing location - check it out here:
After the dinner and drum show, we had a few drinks with my colleagues before turning in. Had to be ready for the next day's ceremony also.
First day's entertainment
Traditional Korean drum and entertainment
The drumming was quite good
Morning view from the Westin Chosun hotel
Next day it was the Busan yard's turn to impress us. Well, there are many differences between the two yards with the big strike in Busan, so there was really no competition here. The yard in Busan actually didn't want to do any event, but I had been able to pursuade them to make a small ceremony anyway. Most of our guests were a little startled by having to walk past an anchored bus with all the windoes destroyed, then past guards in combat gear and through a broken glass entrance just to enter the office lobby. I think it was healthy for the main office gents to see what conditions we have to work under ! And also a chance for the yard to show them how difficult a situation they are in. In any case, they were able to make a nice small (and alternative) ceremony.
Lunch was at Commodore and dinner at Paradise Hotel. All good but when we got to the gift presentation by our main office, the person in charge did not have a gift list. So I had to step in and try to call out the right people from memory only. Not a good situation as the gifts are very important for the Koreans and their internal ranking has to be followed strictly (completely incomprehensible for us foreigners). I managed OK - one person who wasn't on the original list got a gift anyway, but at least he was a general director, so no harm done. But a tricky situation and one I did not like at all!
The godmother ready to reveal the name
The ceremony actually took place on the vessel itself instead of on the quay side
Dinner at Paradise Hotel
Paula with john Michael and C.S. Kim
T.S. Lee, Lars and Lillian Busk
C.S. Kim and Kozeki-san
All the plates were works of art. Here the dessert
Back at the office on Thursday and Friday it was long days in order to get ready for sea trial. Late Friday we discovered that the yard had cut a big hole in the bulkhead of the forecastle! Can't believe they actually tried to talk their way out of closing this big hole up !!!
This weekend I have stayed in bed almost all the time, only getting out for Erkan and Aslas's visit Saturday evening. My foot had not had a good week and was big as a football Friday evening (with 5 toes sticking out in the end!), so it was high time to lie back, raise the leg and put an ice pack on it.
Paula and the Mah Jong girls