Well here we are again, Babu goes home tomorrow.
We’ve been here 3 times so far in our relationship, and actually a few more times than that if you count the various visits in between, but it’s 3 times he’s finished his ship contract and got on a flight home to India for a few months.
The first time was the worst, someone messed up his documents that time and he had ended up with 5 months leave instead of his expected 3, during which time I couldn’t visit him. Last year was OK, he stayed with me 10 days before going back (even if that didn’t go so well) and we spent a week together in Mumbai during his 3 months leave so it felt a bit more normal for us as I think the longest we went without seeing each other was something like 6 weeks.
This time might be different though. Last year whilst at home Babu was half-heatedly job searching, but to no avail, if I’m honest I think it was just something for him to do, something for him to focus on, as after the initial joy of being back home and catching up with friends and relatives 3 months is a long time doing nothing. But this time he’s serious. He is really keen to find himself a job back home. There are two main reasons for this, and even though for every selfish reason I want him to continue on the ships a year or two longer, I can also see his point of view.
1) He is sick of working on the ships, passengers are unfortunately not always that nice to the people looking after them, and if that’s not great, if there is ever a complaint the managers aren’t all that understanding either. There is no chance for defense or reasoning if there is a complaint, what it comes down to is the passenger is always right – resulting unfortunately in turning a mid-year recommendation for promotion into an end of year bad review – he just can’t stand the thought of another year in this position. He has also found himself being discriminated against because of me too, but that’s another story.
2) He’s thinking of our future. In the next couple of years we will want to settle down, and he would like to be established in a good job by then, so that if needs be, he can support me and his family.
Now I can hardly argue against any of those reasons, believe me I know what it feels like to be in a job that is no good to me, and the second reason is utterly sensible! However, at the moment I kinda like things the way they are, it works just fine for us, I’d love to spend a little more time together, but we cope. If he gets a job, everything will change, we’ll see each other maybe 1-2 times a year, OK we’ll be able to speak every day whereas at the moment its 2-3 times a week but right now we also get to see each other 2-3 times a month too.
It’ll be the ultimate test I guess.
The worst thing is, we just don’t know what is actually going to happen, there are 3 scenarios for the next 3 months:
1) He gets a job and stays in India
2) He doesn’t get a job and comes back to work on the ship which he is currently allocated to – which is next year slip between the Caribbean and Italy – it’s not coming to the UK(!).
3) He doesn’t get a job in India, wangles a transfer onto a different ship and we carry on as before.
There’s only one option that appeals to me there and that’s the least likely. So here’s to a few months of uncertainty I guess…. The things we do for love.
Tomorrow will be a goodbye at the port since the company arrange a taxi, I don’t fancy the almost 2hr drive to the airport, I’d rather deal with a sad goodbye 20mins from home. He has told me he want’s no tears but since I’ve only managed that once in our whole relationship I doubt I’ll be able to accommodate that, especially with all this bloody uncertainty!
Anyway… I knew what I was signing up for, and he has given me lots of opportunities to get out before, but the truth is, I don’t wan’t to. I am fully committed to him and our relationship, and if that means sometimes things are a little tricky, so be it, it’s worth the hassle for the good times we do get together, which for us are all the more precious.
I hope you enjoy the photo of us above, taken in Civitavecchia, Italy it is called ‘Bacio del mare’ (Kiss of the sea) also known as “La resa incondizionata” (Unconditional surrender), with us posing underneath. I loved this statue since i can relate to the emotion of it so much. It is based on a photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt shown below.