Sometimes I Question My Profession

Saturday’s two dives in the morning were not quite as memorable as my first dive ever.  The first dive of the morning was deeper, about 14 meters.  Jane & I went with another diver named Marcus who was German, and his diving guide, though once the dive started we did not really stay together.  We practiced some diving skills, like how to do an emergency ascent, and taking the kit off and on under water.  After we swam around for about 40 minutes, which see4ms like a pretty standard dive at this depth.  We saw a couple bigger fish, though really I don’t know the names of any of them. Read the rest of this post »

January 23, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

First Dive

On Friday I went open water diving to 12 meters for the first time.  The dive site we went to was simply called ‘cave.’  After gearing up, and rolling back first off the boat, Jane & I swam over to the anchor line, and deflated our Buoyancy Control Devices (BCD), which dropped us into the ocean.  Hanging on to the anchor line, inches below the surface, I looked upon an expansive green ocean, with no floor in sight, and thought, “I’ve got to be crazy to go down there.” I paused for a bit, until I eventually surfaced with Jane. Read the rest of this post »

January 22, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

Drama Means More Drinking at the Beach

Thursday was supposed to be my first open water scuba dive, but there was some early morning drama at Poseidon.  I’m not exactly sure what happened, but Jane had stormed off in the morning quite upset.  I think she was having some beef with the owner that morning over the way he ran his business.  I was told my lesson would resume the next day.

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January 21, 2010 • Tags:  • Posted in: Vacation • 2 Comments

Diving, Swindles, and Funerals

On Wednesday we started the scuba lesson off by going over the gear: a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), tank, fins, and a mask.  After assembling the kit we waded into the ocean to about one meter.  Breathing underwater with the gear was a bit weird, but overall ok.  We practiced taking everything off and on, and then swimming around with the gear on.  After we went back to the classroom, and I finished off the last chapter of the course.  I took the written test and scored a 90%.

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January 20, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

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.

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January 19, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

The Elderly Don’t Use the Internet

Monday we went to a retirement home, though I think that is a slightly wrong description.  We took one van, one car, and one scooters worth of people.  I’m pretty sure we were not visiting anyone we knew there, quite the opposite.   All the elderly there were more or less abandoned by their families (or whoever), and they had no one to care for them.  People in the surrounding area would take turns going there, and bring them food, and and gifts (clothes when we went).  We prepared a meal for them (and by we, I mean the half the women, while the other half took care of all the kids).

When we came back I went to an internet cafe–$0.60 / hour.  Though the computers are hella slow.

January 18, 2010 • Tags:  • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

A Farmer’s Market Is Not a Fair

Sunday was lined up to be busy, but ended up not too busy.  We went to the Farmer’s Market, which Danarothna keeps insisting is a fair.  We bought maybe 4 or 5 bags of fruits and vegetables, and a couple of snacks for the beach: potatoes, red onions (smaller than the American variety), some prickly thing that I’m told was a fruit, some small red things that were like cranberries with with hard seeds inside, a papaya, some wood apples (which are not really apples as far as I’m concerned.  They are very sour and not particularly tasty–but hey, my cousin seems to like them.).  I also got some rice crackers that were spicy, and looked like they were squeezed out a cake icing applicator.  This all cost about 6 bucks.  After we dropped this food off at the house (and my aunt scolded me for buying somethings we had growing in the back and front yard) we went to the beach and I signed up for the Scuba lessons at Poseidon.

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January 16, 2010 • Tags:  • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

Finding Some Scuba Lessons

Saturday was fairly lowkey comparatively.  I went with Danaroathna to check out some scuba training places.  They were all roughly the same price ($350 USD), though the first place wasmy cousin haggled the first place down to $280–coincidentally it was the same guy we did the boat to boat cigarette transfer a couple of days earlier.  However, the third scuba place, Posoidon, is where many of my Dad’s friends hang out.  Before I came here he told me to go to the beach, and hang out there because they would take care of me… which I haven’t been doing.  I think my dad was good friends with the previous owner, but he passed away recently and the family business got passed on to his son.  They have an English lady who does all the training which is an added plus, as I won’t have to wade through a lot of Sin Halese.

Saturday night it rained heavily.

January 15, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

the Devil Dance

Friday morning was largely consumed by the beach.  The water is so warm it is hard to believe sometimes.  Ranji dropped me off at his friends shop along the beach.  His friend carves wooden statues–fairly standard stuff: elephants Buddha’s and the like.  I’m thinking I may ask him to carve me some custom chess pieces, or possibly this statue I’ve had in my head for a while.

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January 15, 2010 • Tags:  • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

Cash, Mosquitos, and Drunken Sailors

My first day here I was so exhausted I fell asleep in the afternoon and didn’t get up until the next day.  I didn’t use the mosquito net, and I think the door to the outside might have been left open for a bit.  So I have at least 20 mosquito bites on each of my feet.  The rest of me is doing ok.  The mosquitoes seem to come out briefly at dusk to attack my feet.  I haven’t been getting as many since, but the ones I have get quite itch whenever I get another.

Ok, enough of that.  Time to talk of phones and currency.

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January 15, 2010 • Tags:  • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments