I Never Thought I Would Be Doing Homework On Vacation

Tuesday I started my scuba diving lessons.  My instructor, Jane, is English, smiles a lot, and laughs a lot.  Every now and then she tells me stories of other places she has dived, and the general ruckus caused there in her wake.

The lesson started with a swim test–swimming 200 meters, and treading water for 10 minutes. Swimming 200 meters in the ocean was definitely hard.  I haven’t really swam a lot since I was a kid at camp, and I have drank a lot of beer since then.  Fortunately I could fall back on the backstroke, and let my legs do the work.  Treading water turned into floating on my back also, because in the low tide the ocean wasn’t deep enough to tread in.  The rest of the day was spent doing book and video classwork.  I plowed though the first four out of five chapters, with lunch in between.

At the end of the day, I skirted out to avoid my chaperon (Danarothna), as I told Jane.  Walking along the beach I spied some storm clouds.  I turned around and headed down town to the internet cafe I had gone to the day before, though it was full so I kept on walking.  The storm caught up with me–I was hoping it would blow further south, but it blew right through town.  I shared an awning with a couple of people.  One of them did the obligatory, ‘Hey, you’re Ranji’s American cousin.” We shared a brief spartan conversation, but mostly we shared the cover from the storm .

Across the street someone sold fresh fish off of newspapers on the ground.

After the storm let up, I continued my walk back through town.  Downtown Hikkaduwa is basically a ‘T’ shaped intersection, with a fair number of local shops: super markets (though maybe just ‘market’ would be more appropriate), shoe stores, hardware stores, mobile phone stores, banks, and a bus stop.  The touristy stuff–jewelry, art,  clothing and restaurants–are mostly to the south.  I ducked into a super market.  There were sacks of all different kinds of rice everywhere.  I picked up a razor and some shaving cream to scrape a weeks worth of growth off my face.

Back at the internet cafe I found a free computer, and Danarathna finally caught up with me.

January 19, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation

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