Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Surfing Life's Uncertainties


Zhao had had a busy afternoon as a crew member aboard the Harbor Princess, a 112-foot ferry boat that transported passengers between Hong Kong and Lantau island. That morning, a typhoon had passed by to the south, several hundreds miles away, but close enough to cause a pretty sizable chop that rocked the boat had several passengers heading for the rail. And then, the customary late afternoon summer thunderstorm had kicked the water up even more.

Even Zhao, who'd been working on ships for more than two decades, started feeling the effects of the large, ocean sized swell. So after his last run to Lantau, he decided to stop by his favorite crab restaurant and have a relaxing dinner before heading back to the city. But halfway through the meal, Zhao's attention drifted over to a nearby television weather report. Another typhoon was on the way, only this one was headed straight for Hong Kong. It wasn't due to hit until evening, but Zhao had a feeling the next day's ferry trips would be rough ones.

"Why didn't I just get a cushy office job like my mother always advised me to do?" Zhao thought to himself as he finished eating and hurriedly prepared to head back to his flat in Hong Kong.

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