Chapter 52: Warship museum
Translated by me, edited by Kai.
TL: Inb4 flames, I’m not too familiar with the specifics of a naval ship, so do excuse my poor/direct translations. (As well as my edits :3)
“Wow, so this is the inside of a destroyer.” As Jiang Hai entered the USS Cassin Young, he began to admire the ship. His first stop; the sailors’ living quarters.
From the outside, this ship isn’t small at all. But once you enter the belly of the beast then you’ll find that the ship is actually pitifully cramped. To be fair, the insides of all warships are like this. Even if it’s carriers; the room available for the sailors are still very tiny. After all, most of the available internal space is used to carry weapons and fuel so that it can protect itself in case of emergencies. Furthermore, the structure itself is thick.
The living quarters that Jiang Hai examined is just like this. Really, really tiny living spaces for the sailors; of around 5 square meters for each room with low ceilings. For an average person like Jiang Hai, with their 1.8 to 1.9 meter height, they all need to lower their heads while in the room. Not only that but these rooms are designed for 4 people with 2 bunk beds; 2 on top, 2 down below. Add in a divided wardrobe and you have the basic quarters. These are really some tough living conditions for the sailors.
After the living quarters, Jiang Hai strolled all over the place and got lost. Even with the directions on the walls he still don’t know where he is. However this place is used to develop American kids’ patriotic belief, so there are always groups of elementary school kids touring the place. Not far from where he is, he found a group of elementary kids from some school in Boston on a field trip with their teacher.
The one doing the explanations at the front is most likely their teacher. However this teacher is unexpectedly beautiful. At first glance she is about 25 or 26 years and of latin descent. Not as white as the average white person, but clearly not black or yellow. With her wheat coloured skin and brunette hair, she gives off both a healthy and erotic look. Add on the certain appeal all teachers have and it really brings out the charm in her. Suddenly Jiang Hai is reminded of a certain country’s romances action drama (1).
*Cough* Right, this is only a sudden thought, as it is really easy to tell that she is a honourable person just from her actions.
“What we are standing on right now is the destroyer USS Cassin Young. Can anyone tell me what is the difference between corvettes, destroyers, and cruisers?” Keeping his thoughts to himself, Jiang Hai decided to keep quiet and follow this group around. Along the way the teacher suddenly asked her students a question. In response several hands were raised. At the back of the group, Jiang Hai paid careful attention to this. Since he also wanted to know more about these things.
“Oh, me, me, me! It’s because their sizes are different.” After much contemplation, the teacher picked a black kid to answer. Upon being selected, the kid happily answered her question. However when Jiang Hai heard this, he is clearly in doubt. Is it really that simple? And the answer is actually yes.
“That is correct, but also wrong. Naval vessels are mainly separated by their size and their range, well this mainly applies to surface vessels. We usually don’t call vessels like submarines as warships. Surface ships include carriers, battleships, cruisers, battle cruisers, destroyers, corvettes, torpedo boats, missile cruisers, anti-submarine vessels, submarine rescue ships, minelayers, minesweepers, amphibious assault crafts and so on. They are mainly separated by their size, then purpose.” As the teacher explained in detail, Jiang Hai can’t help but be nervous; because he didn’t know any of this before now.
Take surface vessels for example. What is the difference between ships and warships? The difference lies with their displacement. 600 tons and under are ships, while 600 tons and above are warships. Each warship has different displacement and is designed to carry out different roles. To be exact, apart from carriers, all other ships are pretty much the same. The only difference lies in the different types of weapons they carry. These are all facts that Jiang Hai didn’t know about, but that is understandable.
Field trips like this don’t exist at all in China. This is mainly due to the differences in ideas of the west and the east. Although kids are taught to love their country from young in China, it is mainly to the point of being familiar with the history, know how the world came to be, and know how strong our ancestors were. As for stuff like guns, ships, planes and such, it’s enough to just know about their basic existences. If they are interested in stuff like these, then they can learn more about them in university.
Most of the western education system is based around the self interests of learners. Kids will be raised to know what stuff are and how they work. Everything is based around what they want to do. There is really no way to say which is better and which is worse. The only thing that can be said about the two ideals is that there is a big difference between them.
“This ship is a destroyer. These pictures here clearly tell the history of this ship including the battles it participated in. Such as Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, Wright Island … Since the christening of this ship, it is of glory and stories. Hence since it’s retirement, it was not sold or recycled. Rather it was retained as a museum for civilian visits. Ever since 1974 it has remained here. ….” Having explained the basics about warships, she went on to talk about the history of this once magnificent beast.
As the teacher toured the ship with her students, Jiang Hai also followed around. From the bow of the ship to its aft. From it’s control room to it’s engine compartments and so on. Having followed them around though the entire ship, Jiang Hai finally can be said to have some understanding of boats. However, the ship is only so big and with the pace of elementary kids, the tour was over in half an hour. As the kids exited the ship, Jiang Hai also followed them out in a complete daze.
This really raised the teacher’s alarms. In fact she already discovered him following them around while they were still on the ship. No matter how quick or slow their pace was, he would still follow them around. If it was still on the ship then it is understandable, but now that they have left the ship, it becomes really suspicious.
“Sir, is there a problem?” When Jiang Hai still followed them around after leaving the ship, the teacher can’t hold it in anymore and asked as she appeased her students.
“Uh, no problem. I’m headed that way.” Hearing the unpleasantness in the teacher’s voice, Jiang Hai is somewhat stunned. In fact, the teacher truly misunderstood Jiang Hai. Jiang Hai had no intentions of anything at all. He isn’t a saint nor is he a villain, but that cold and calculated question is really hard for him to answer. He can only point in the direction of the temple of the sea shipyard as an answer.
“You sure?” Seeing the direction Jiang Hai is pointing at, the teacher is clearly even more guarded.
“Uh, yeah.” Jiang Hai replied as he nodded like a pecking chicken. Hearing this, the female didn’t say anything else and moved to the side with the kids. The meaning is very clear, I’m going to watch you leave.
Facing the female teacher’s suspicions, Jiang Hai can only smile bitterly. Does he really look like a scoundrel? But it was nothing to be mindful, Jiang Hai never had anything against her anyways so he didn’t say anything and moved on.
Seeing Jiang Hai leave, the teacher finally left with the kids in the opposite direction.
“Teacher, does that man back there like you? Cause he clearly followed us for so long!” After confirming that Jiang Hai has left, a little girl asked the teacher beside her curiously.
“Uh, what! How? He was only going in the same direction as us.” The teacher answered back quickly but with some embarrassment. However this answer clearly didn’t fulfill the students’ curiosity.
“Miss, what you did back there is wrong. My mom said, a woman needs to give a man some signals. Miss your this pretty but yet still don’t have a boyfriend. You are just too careful.” Another male black student commented. However upon hearing this, the teacher is clearly upset again.
“How old are you? And what do you know about signals?!” The teacher commented back smiling.
“Is that man really trying to pursue me?” Having finished joking around about Jiang Hai, the kids moved on. However the teacher turned her head and look at the leaving Jiang Hai behind her. Upon seeing his leaving back, she shook her head and thought it’s all just a coincidence. But thinking back to the half hour on the ship, if that man really has no thoughts for her then that is clearly a lie. There is no way that he was just there to listen to her explanations because all of these are just basic knowledge here.
Foreigners simply don’t understand the pain of elementary school in China.
As for Jiang Hai, he already returned to the temple completely dejected. But quickly left to sightsee other areas.
1. TL: ……….. need I say more?