Monday, November 1, 2010

A Whole New World

This may be one of the most overused quotes in history, but...Todo, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore! And I guess it's used so much because baby, it's true.
Thailand is (apparently I'm quoting old movies) a whole new world, and while we were on the island, we discovered a world within that world. In other words, scuba diving!!!
We stayed at Black Tip Resort, which sounds way fancier than it was, but besides the non-flush toilets and the ants that took over our bungalow on the last night, we still had a bungalow, a perfect view, and a very nice pool that made the heat a little more bearable.
Ko Tao, the island we stayed on, which means Turtle Island, isn't very big, but we managed to find a deserted spot, Tanote Bay, and it was the perfect place to unwind after the chaos and terror (I might be overdramatic, but seriously, it was insane) of Bangkok.

And, to make it even better, I finished my open water certification there!! In the Gulf of Thailand. Hello dreamland.
However, I did learn that conquering my fear of diving in a pool was nothing compared to diving in the ocean. Except for my (most likely irrational) fears about getting the bends, I felt quite comfortable at the bottom of the ocean. So much to SEE! So much completely foreign beautiful stuff to see! It was amazing and one of the best ways possible to start off our trip.
The first day, it was me and my dive master, as I had (another) swim test to ace and a bunch of skills I'd already done in the pool to do under the ocean. Some of them were easy--who knew all those hours in Girl Scouts wandering around meadows with a compass would actually make me semi-proficient--and some, like the mask clearing, were a little more stressful. I had the most trouble with equalizing my ears, which, they don't bother to tell you in the diving books, will likely hurt the first few times no matter what you do. And, my dive master, a fine old gent named John from Britain, informed me that women have more trouble equalizing than men.
Go figure.
Even with the tasks, it was exhilirating and relaxing! I found these awesome little worms, Christmas tree worms, that absolutely delighted me with their colors and their quick retreat when you wave a hand over them (the first time I almost got a heart attack, which sent John into spasms of hilarity).

Day Two, we woke up after a restless night in fear of the encroaching ant army to stormy skies and lightning over the ocean (which for some reason I never knew was possible!!) but the go ahead to dive anyway. My cousin, who's awesome and had already completed her open water certification, came along with us today, and we explored my tantalizing mistress, the sea, further. The day went smoothly, with a small bout of seasickness for my cuz and some further equalization issues for me, but it was! Even despite the fact that for a week after I was convinced I had the bends. (Yes, I'm a hypochondriac, and yes, I know it's ridiculous, but I had to have ONE flaw, right? ;) ).
I was sad to leave our little island paradise for the rest of the terrifying country...but more adventures awaited us after our last ferry ride:) Which means, you better be at the edge of your seat for more stories!!!! :)

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