Reed in Asia - Asian Diaries
A new weapon and tickets to ride
The next day we got up together, I quickly got myself showered and ready for work and On made us some hot drinks. I had a little time so we had our drinks and a cigarette at the coffee table by the window and chatted again about the weekend and what we could do then. On couldn't really come up with any other places to visit that weren't too far to drive, so we gave up on it then. We went down to breakfast together, I had my usual breakfast and a pot of tea and On had something different to eat that morning and chatted to Dim before ordering. After I had finished my breakfast I got up to leave quite quickly, On was still eating, but I thought that I had better be at the dome quickly that day to be ready for the next weapon to arrive. At the dome, the RTAF operators were running the system already, so I left them to it and I marked the spot on the base where I wanted the next gun to go, I then thought about the cables and I didn't want them just running on the floor, so I would have to fit the cable hanger in the dome, this is just some thick metal cable that runs across the dome at about 3 metres height and the electrical and system cables can be attached to it and then they are out of everyones way. So I went to the container and found the cable hanger took it into the dome and started fitting it to the structure on the MDU side of the dome, then I ran it across the dome and fitted the other end to the structure on the other side and made sure that the cable hanger would be in a good position to be able to feed the required cables to the next two weapons to be installed.
At lunchtime that day, the second weapon still hadn't arrived yet, but I left the dome because I had something to do that day. I then drove to Don Muang airport parked the car in the basement carpark there and then I walked to the Domestic Terminal. I chatted to the person at the ticket counter in there and then purchased two tickets. I still had time to drive to Cafe On and have a quick fried rice and a beer, so that is what I did next. Back at the dome after lunch the second weapon still hadn't arrived yet and I was just going to ask one of the operators if they could check on this, when the weapon appeared being towed by a landrover, with the help of the operators we quickly opened the main access door and then I stood on the spot where I wanted this gun and waved the driver towards me. When the gun was in position and the landrover had left, I asked one of the operators to help me and we carried the barrel counterweight into the dome. Now we just had to fit the counterweight and then I would have to start to connect the gun to the system and calibrate the sensor. The barrel was removed quite quickly, but the guys seemed to be taking a very long time fitting the counterweight and it still wasn't fitted when one of the operators came over to me and explained the problem. The second weapon that had just been positioned in the dome was a Bofors 4070 and the problem was that the counterbalance that had come from GQ had the breech fitting for a 4080 and not for a 4070 they were vastly different. So I had a major problem now, GQ had sent the counterweights for two Bofors 4080s and none for a Bofors 4070 as was required. I then told the operators that I was leaving for the day, because I now had to try and sort this problem out.
I then drove back to the hotel and went straight up to my room, On was very surprised to see me so early, I just said to her that I had a problem to sort out and I didn't really have time for her right then. I quickly found the copy of the RTAF dome contract in one of my bags and I started reading it carefully and it clearly stated in the contract that the Bofors weapons to be used in the dome were a 4080 and a 4070, so GQ had made a major blunder here. I sat down then and started to write a telex to explain to my company exactly what the problem was, I asked On if she could get me a beer whilst I was writing and this she did for me, I needed the beer because this was my problem now, nobody else's and beer helps me to think . When I had completed the telex to my satisfaction, I took it to reception and asked them to send it quickly and even though it was still quite early then, I then went to the lounge and ordered a large brandy. On had followed me down to the lounge and now came to sit with me, she could see that I was a little upset and she asked me what the problem was, I just said to her that my company had made a big mistake and that I now had to try and rectify it. The main problem that I really had was with myself, this was my first project for the company and I wanted everything to go perfectly and then this happens! After I had finished my brandy and had a few cigarettes, I had calmed down a little. I then remembered the surprise that I had for On, I had completely forgotten about it with the problem at work, so I slowly reached into my pocket and carefully retrieved the envelope in there, without attracting On's attention. I then just said to On casually "What was the name of that place that you said that you would like to see?" and On just replied "Chiangmai", then I passed the envelope across the table to her and said "We are flying to Chiangmai at 8pm on Friday evening, so you will see it very soon", inside the envelope were two return air tickets to Chiangmai on Thai Airways. when she saw the tickets, she quickly jumped up, came around the table, sat on my knee, put her arms around me and kissed me.
We stayed in the lounge all evening, apart from a quick break for food in the coffee shop, we listened to the band, I had reverted back to my normal nightly beverage , we ended the night in the discotheque again and then went up to the room, On still had the air tickets in her hand, she was clinging on to them like they would fly away if she let go. As we passed reception the night staff there called me over and handed me a telex, I decided to read it once we got back in the room. In the room, I got myself a beer, put the music on low sat at the coffee table and opened the telex, the telex was from my company and they had apologised for their mistake and the last thing that they said was "Do anything that you possibly can to rectify this there, because we don't have the time left on the contract now to make a new counterweight and ship it to you" So it was just up to me now.
'And so it goes On!'
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Me - Ian Reed / John McMiken (The Legless Fool)
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'Attempting to correct a bad mistake that I made in the past in my life in Asia.'
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