Viva la suntan

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, March 2, 2007

well I'm going to try writing this again. i had just written a nice long entry and then the computer I was on decided to take a shit and erase everything on me.  talk about annoying little glitches in life you know?  anyway, here we go again one more time!

despite my complete communication isolation with the rest of the world, things are going well here, the palm trees are swaying, the ocean is blue and the fish are swimming in a decidedly determined fashion so all is right in my world.  how are things on your end oh constant reader?  the Midwest should be coming out of the winter deep freeze soon so many of you have that to look forward to.  it seems to always be around 93 degrees give or take a degree here in thailand.  its nice as far as consistency goes but it sure is hell when it comes to the smell of my clothes.

so i am now an official PADI certified dive master after many toils and tribulations (not really all that much toiling to be honest).  one of the last things PADI required of me was to do an equipment exchange.....that consists of you and your diving partner going down and then using only one air hose (you take two breaths and then give it over to your partner) you have to take off all your equipment...fins, BCD (vest), and mask and then switch them out so you are wearing your partners stuff and then go for a swim.....all while only using one air hose.  its not a very pleasant exercise but its designed to stress you out and for you to problem solve while underwater etc.

The last thing that my friends required of me and that I'm sure PADI frowns upon was my snorkel test.  this is when you sit in a chair and put your mask on....then they give you a snorkel that has a funnel attached to it...and then they pour a liter and half of alcoholic beverages down your throat.  its much more difficult then it sounds because you cant breath through your nose since its embedded in the mask.  the fact that i got drunk in under a minute is itself impressive.

so now i work and make a little money and take people diving.  its a lot different being the guy in the front of the line...leading everyone around, making sure they don't get lost and trying to keep track of how much air they have and trying to time your arrival to the buoy line (if you can find it) to the point where they reach their alloted low point on air.  for the most part its pretty stress free and you are just looking for cool stuff to show them....its kinda like taking an out of town friend around your want them to see all the cool sites and for them to think your town is pretty cool....i just get paid to do it is the only difference.  that still hits me about everyday...ill be swimming along and i realize that they are paying me for this and i crack a big smile......break the seal on my mask and then the salt water pours in and i stop smiling.

on my very first day of work and leading a dive I jumped into the water (on the surface) and then began to swim over to the buoy line to descend and then one of my hoses (there are 4 of them coming off your tank) actually blew.  Ive never seen it happen before and i guess its pretty rare but let me tell you , it makes a hell of a racket.  if it would have happened under water the massive air leak would have sucked all the air out of the other 3 hoses (my air supply) so i would have had to find someone's alternate air hose in a hurry or there is quite a real possibility that i would have drowned....but it happened at the surface so no biggie lol.

as of now I am in bangkok because my sister and I are in a joint import/export venture.  I'm exporting and she is importing.  what this consists of is me wedging my big ass in between thousands of Thais at the weekend market and haggling without mercy.  sounds fun while i type it but let me assure you that this is not my forte.....I would say that diving, laying in a hammock and curling up with a nice warm Thai girl could be classified as my forte.  oh well we all make sacrifices I suppose and my personal hell is going shopping.  could be worse I suppose.  the idea of being stuck in a snow drift somewhere in Chicago is enough to keep me motivated to stay in the tropics. viva la sun tan!!!!
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