Call of the East – Working Life 1950-2000

In foreign climes I sailed the seas.

For fifty years I’ve plied my trade,
Most of the time quite underpaid.
In SMITH’s I served my ‘prenticeship’
Then off to sea I did slip.

In foreign climes I sailed the seas
And certain ‘ladies’ tried to please.
In Japan’s dry docks, it was a chore
To spend three months and live ashore.

Three times this penance. It was my lot,
Those episodes I’ve ne’er forgot.
“ANATA WATUSI I SU MASU”!
That’s Japanese for “How I love you”!

Then back into the yards I came,
I’ve only got myself to blame.
Escape was offered in a guise
“Service Man” that was the prize.

Around the world to many ships
I travelled, and made many trips.
This came to a sudden stop
When orders they began to drop

So off to pastures new I’d go,
The company’s name was ARAMCO.
On Saudi’s shores I there did toil
To help the world receive its oil.

Alas, I stuck it just one year
Because the Yanks with me weren’t fair.
They wanted me to foreman be
But wouldn’t pay the going fee.

Then at Dammam, a shipyard new
Said, “Please come manage all our crew”.
This job I took and set it up
‘Til married status I brought up

Oh no! You can’t have that out here!
For western wives we really fear.
Our own wives they might see your way
And want the same themselves one day!

Back I came for a short spell
Unto the yards and all that hell.
Then once again I got the call
To Saudi’s sands and mystic thrall.

In Riyad I was employed,
To power stations I deployed.
I roamed the land from east to west
Then north to south at their request.

From mountains high to desert heat
I followed in “El Lawrens” feet,
From golden sands and barren rocks
To ancient towns and modern blocks.

All these sights does Saudi show
To very few westerners who there do go,
Restricted by your company card
To move around is very hard.

India then did beckon me,
This fabled land I then would see
So off I went unto Rihand,
Right in the centre of that land.

I saw the sights that tourists see
And all its terrible poverty,
Three months I spent within its grip
And then concluded that short trip.

Since then I’ve worked in the UK
For at my age I’ve had my day.
Youths taken over in my place,
I must accept this with good grace.

At last I’m out and put to grass,
Like all good things, it’s come to pass.
No supervisors to plague my life
Except just one and, that’s my wife!

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