To date I have never seen an ethnic Russian aboard an oil tanker crack a smile. I've seen yelling, the complain-face, the dumb face, lots of times (or maybe as a people, they're predisposed to petit mal seizures, I dunno), lots of functional autism, quite a few angry faces, too, but never a smile. It took me 13 years, but I've figured it out. These ships have to lock up the booze when they get in US waters, and some of them actually do it. Tonight's ship is an interesting mix.
As a first, it looked like the ship had a female bosun. One of those Big Russian babushkas, with a shoulder span wider than an ax handle, like that 3rd cousin who's a semi-pro bowler and goes on lots of cruises with her 'roommate.' Well, turns out, it was a dude after all, which was something of a relief, but still, how a 300lb man could be androgynous speaks to the questionable nature of the gene pool. At any rate, the bosun aside, this is one sullen deck gang tonight. Eyes so red that it looks like they walked out of a Cyprus Hill concert, and that lovely tangy smell of Eastern Bloc B.O. and stale booze breath. My galley smelt so bad after they left the cargo pre-transfer meeting I was tempted to take a shit on the deck to make it smell better in there.
Sigh. 2 more days and I can go home.