Hawaii - January 1993
Yes the magic computer letter is back. Well I’m going to the Gulf in three days so I figured the best way to let everyone know about my life if to use a computer interface for awhile.
Yes it’s true. My days left in paradise are numbered. It’s hard to shed a tear as I really don’t think paradise is all it’s cracked up to be. I am really looking forward to seasons again. This past month has been really hectic. I got back from Christmas vacation on the 8th and started on the list of things to do. Move out to the apartment, sell the car, get the finances in order, apply to grad school. It’s not that I’m just going on a six month deployment, it’s also that I’m not planning on coming back to Hawaii.
I love moving and am way psyched about moving to Washington DC. A real life and a semi-normal job. But moving is a love-hate thing. Moving out of the apartment was depressing. Seeing everything you own boxed up and carted away you realize that (a) you’re never going to see that place again and the movers are really packing up my memories and (b) I own a lot of junk! I didn’t realize how much stuff I had packed into that little one bedroom apartment. But I guess I am set when I get to DC. Opening the boxes there will be like Christmas. The movers were okay and sort of quick. Living on the 23rd floor made moving a little bit of a pain. Of course I had to take leave to pack out. Totally unsat. If I were married, they would have given me the day off to help my wife pack out. So I burned three days of leave getting moved out. Then part of the lease agreement was to have the carpet professionally cleaned. I also had a professional cleaning team come in to get it ready for check out. Expensive, but I didn’t have to worry about it and spent the day at the beach, so it was worth it.
The car is gone. If I thought moving was bad, selling our first car is like selling your first born child. I had the car cleaned and went to around seven dealers trying to get the best deal. I feel like I got gypped, but I only had like three weeks to sell it and the ads in the papers looked like LeBaron’s weren’t going for much more than the $5K I got. I hated selling the car, but it would have just sat at some large parking lot for three or four months after the two month transit from Pearl Harbor to the East Coast. I am renting a Geo Tracker for my last days here. It’s okay, but I feel like I’m driving a go cart.
Then the big question. Do I buy a new car when I get to DC? I really want to live in the District. Close to work and close to school. I hated the 30-45 minute commute from my old house in Ewa into Pearl Harbor and DC is the pits for commuting. I called several realtors and they sent me stuff for Fredricksburg. Like I want to get up at 4AM so I can make it into work by 0730. I don’t think so. Ideally I want a nice one bedroom/loft in the District, close to a metro and sort of near where I can bike to work. I would save on the car payment, insurance, and maintenance. Plus parking is a nightmare in DC and it will be easier to find a good apartment if I don’t have to worry about a garage or a parking stall. But no car, no freedom. Having a nightlife will get expensive with taxis once the metro shuts down. And if I want to go somewhere for the weekend, then I have to rent a car. Well I have plenty of time to make that decision. Maybe get a used car?
Well I mailed off my third grad school application today. I’m applying to Johns Hopkins, American, and Georgetown. I want to get my Masters in National Security or Foreign Policy. I’ve always been interested in that and hopefully I’ll be able to pick up some language courses as well. I am in the perfect area to get a good grip on the foreign affairs stuff so it should be really cool. Of course I probably won’t know if I get accepted until I actually get to DC.
The clock is ticking. We get underway on 10 February at noon. The first port visit is Hong Kong. Hong Kong is great and I look forward to going back. But this time I am on a budget. I want a grey charcoal suit, a leather jacket, and some disposable contacts. Plus a little Christmas shopping. I would like to go to China, Gouzhong or atleast Macao this time. Depends on when I have the duty. We get to Hong Kong on the 24th of February. We leave on the 28th and get into Singapore on the 2nd of March. We are there for five days, but it’s a working port. We pull into Bahrain on the 22nd. After that we head to Oman, but the schedule gets really fluid after that.
Supposedly the ship leaves the Gulf on the 16th of June. That’s when the Captain will let me go. If the plan for the two Australia ports come through then I may stay for the trip to Melbourne and then leave. But I really want to do Europe and if I leave from Bahrain the government will pay for the air fare. Now there’s an offer that’s hard to refuse. I got an international driver’s license and I’m thinking Italy in July. Maybe go up into Switzerland and Austria? I’m getting Sea Pay now and as soon as we inchop, I’ll get hazardous duty pay so I should have the money to bum around for a few weeks. I finally get paid for LT in June so that will help also. Christmas is paid for as well as the trip to Australia so my cash flow is pretty good.
Well I hope everyone is doing well and I apologize for not writing more, but I am way busy. Getting ready for this deployment has not been fun and it won’t get any better until we hit the Gulf and get into some sort of routine. Unfortunately I’m going to miss some weddings and I apologies. I’ll try to send out some little tidbits of my life as I make my way around the world. Please keep in touch. Mail will get to me slowly, but it will get to me. So please write. Well I gotta go. Hope to hear from you all soon!