Nippon Maru, a home to me

5 01 2009

[Taken from this blogpost]
This was taken on one of the last few days on board. I figured that I should at least try get up to see the sun rise before we reached the shores of Japan, which you can see by the horizon. It was cloudy that day, so we didn’t catch a proper sun rise.

Thinking back now, I thought how amazing this ship is. Home to more than 300 of us and for two very good months, I’d always feel so excited whenever I see her as I reach the port after a home stay programme. “There she is! Nippon Maru!” I’d squeal.

This below is my very first picture of Nippon Maru at Yokohama Port as each PY was goiong through immigration checks before boarding.

This was the night view of port area of Yokohoma. This very picture or similar versions would occupy a very dear memory space of many of our digital cameras for a long time to come.

When I got into my cabin, Cabin 310 on the 3rd floor and located at the front of the ship, I took the following pictures. We’ve never watched DVDs despite having a player in our room but I caught a couple of Japanese shows and a travel show on Brunei before we reached Brunei! Before we parted, the counter space at the back of the tv was filled with snacks and instant noodles which none of us could finish eating. Notice the little knob at the bottom left of this picture?

If you pull it down, out comes a hob! This thing is so handy. I’ve made much instant noodles, many cups of hot chocolate and some cuppas on this!

And, here comes a photo of our beds. Violet (Singapore PY) took the B bed at the bottom of the bunk bed while Jik (Thailand PY) took the C bed. My bed was the A one, which is the single on the left. This room got more comfy on each passing day as all three of us would be back in our cabins obediently by 11.30pm (curfew’s supposed to be at 11) and we’d be chatting into the late night before we hurried to sleep for the eeky morning assemblies. Between the times of 11.30pm to about 1.30am, we’d come to learn so much more about each other (including the guys or people that we liked on board, hehehe) and of the place we come from.I love my bed! Sometimes, I think I sleep better when the ship rocks really bad. In fact, I thought sleeping was the best thing to do when the sea got really rough with the ship. When I closed my eyes, everything became fluid. My mind felt fluid. It was a strange feeling for it felt like a dream though I haven’t yet fallen asleep. I guess the only thing I wish better about my bed was that if it was a little higher, I wouldn’t have to lift it up with all my might to drag out my luggage each time when I had to.

This is our bathroom where fresh face and bath towels are replaced weekly. This is one of the worst place to be when the ship rocks really bad. On several occasions, I had to take showers when that happened. If I don’t, I’ll end up really stinky. So, I had to hang on to the handle with one hand and the shower head with the other while making sure I don’t slip and fall into the dirty bath water that’s flowing to every corner of the bathroom to the bobbing of the waves. On other days, the shower room is extremely therapeutic to any long, tiring day. I love how the steamy, hot water pours out with such gusto, it just relinquishes me from the wears of the day.

The life onboard the Nippon Maru had been like a dream. It had its own rules and they are mostly simple. And, there’s a certain sense of freedom and abandonment which I really like. Yet, you can surround yourself with wonderful people from exotic places at the same time. I miss Nippon Maru! I miss the ice creams which they serve every lunch (My favourites are Cookies & Cream, Green Tea & Yam). I miss the announcements that typically goes like this, “This is an announcement from the Administration. To all National Leaders and PYs, please assemble at the Dolphin Hall at 9.15. I repeat, to all National Leaders and PYs, please assemble at the Dolphin Hall at 9.15. Those of you who are unable to attend due to sick or sea sickness, please contact the Administration counter.” And, I miss the adorable tune which is played to tell everyone that it’s meal time. Apparently, someone plays the tune on a xylophone sort of instrument. I miss the smiles of everyone onboard. I miss Cabin 310 whining about our A1 whenever we were putting it on for flag hoisting. I miss watching ASEAN movies with Rezal in the theatre, only to fall asleep! (Sepi was good!) LOLI miss SGS with Nan, Acai and Justin. The MaPY’s SGS gang always had something funny to say! (I am quitting this year… hopefully) I miss popping into third floor’s guy corridor to find Nub, Phanha and Nat playing their guitars! And, they’d keep on playing though Admin was telling us to be quiet when our curfew got extended to 12am. Jannah, Cecilia, Ano and I would be singing our hearts out! Michelle would be singing too but I can’t hear her voice. :P Oh man!



13 responses

16 01 2009
Global Voices Online » Southeast Asia: Ship of dreams and friendship

[…] for Southeast Asian Youth Programme  (SSEAYP) or ‘Program Kapal Belia Asia Tenggara’ on the M. S. Nippon Maru, funded by Japanese government in fostering friendship between youths of ASEAN and […]

18 01 2009
Global Voices auf Deutsch » Südostasien: Traumschiff der Freundschaft

[…] Jugendprogramm (SSEAYP) oder ‘Program Kapal Belia Asia Tenggara’ auf dem Schiff Nippon Maru [en], das von der japanischen Regierung finanziert wird um die Freundschaft zwischen Jugendlichen […]

19 01 2009
Readers Edition » Südostasien: Traumschiff der Freundschaft

[…] Jugendprogramm (SSEAYP) oder ‘Program Kapal Belia Asia Tenggara’ auf dem Schiff Nippon Maru [en], das von der japanischen Regierung finanziert wird um die Freundschaft zwischen Jugendlichen […]

3 03 2009

nippon maru i wish i can goging around u again.n slep at my cabain367 again.

4 03 2009

me too :)

4 04 2009

“nippon maru”,It’s Great, I like to visit it soon, can u help me?

3 08 2009
Südostasien: Traumschiff der Freundschaft « Kulturblog

[…] Jugend­pro­gramm (SSEAYP) oder ‘Pro­gram Kapal Belia Asia Teng­gara’ auf dem Schiff Nip­pon Maru [en], das von der japanis­chen Regierung finanziert wird um die Fre­und­schaft zwis­chen […]

5 11 2009

maurina, i just read this one
really miss nipponmaru this year,
i wish could sing more with you in the hallway!
i remembered those moments, noisy moments! haha.

5 11 2009

I know Ano, I miss is so much! Daphne did such a great job writing out this post!

23 05 2011

my nippon maru i still remmeber 1995 we all sailing to the blue..i miss my room ….i miss nippon maru…i am malaysia py for year 1995…..

23 05 2011

and now no more Nippon Maru. New is Fuji Maru. :(

1 02 2012
Hercules Castro

I was aboard Nippon Maru in the “Ship For World Youth 1991”, 21 years ago. It was simply amazing. Congratulations for those who made very good friends from different countries during the trip.

18 09 2012
Bernard Frichot

It is very intresting about what you wrote and
Described life on board our home. NIPPON. MARU.
I was national leader in 1999 and. 2007 and the
few. Months living togrther among other
Nationalities believe me it will stay as unforgetable
Long live. NIPPON MARU. And all participatig

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