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Published: January 19th 2006
Dock at Chumpton
Waiting for our ferry to Koh Tao at 6:00am
I am hung over again, but just to set the record straight, I am not becoming an alcoholic …I have only been out drinking 2 nights during the whole trip…in fact, last night was the first night I consumed alcohol in the past week. It’s just that when I do go out drinking, it makes me lazy the next day…which leads me into the internet cafÈ to update my blog.
I had reason to celebrate last night…I am now Open Water SCUBA certified! It’s something I have wanted to do for a long time and now I have done it! What an amazing experience. Yesterday I was on the bottom of the ocean in the Gulf of Thailand doing backflips...mindblowing!
I was in a very small group; there were only 3 of us, with this crazy Aussie instructor named Scooby. He came here 4 years ago for vacation and never went home. Talking to people on the island, I hear there are groups of up to 27 people. When the group is that big, you pretty much go down and practice the schools and don’t have time to do any real diving, so I’m pretty stoked I was in such a
Sunset in front of Big Blue Dive Shop
small group. In fact, we started out with 3, but this guy John from New York that I have been hanging out with all week started having ear problems, so by the last day it was just Joanna (this German girl who reminded me of Heidi so much it was weird), Scooby, and myself. Some of you dive and know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who don’t…it’s like being in space. You’re just floating through this whole new world. You breathe in and you float up a little, you exhale and you float down a little….other than that you’re just flying through the ocean. We saw moray eels, puffer fish, angelfish, clownfish…more species of coral than I can name….cool stuff.
I am still in Koh Tao. I was going to head over to Koh Pha-Ngan when I got done with my cert, but I am so comfortable here I have decided to hang out for a bit. I have an air-conditioned room, the people are so friendly here at Big Blue, the sunsets are amazing, and as I found out last night…there is great night scene here! It’s funny, being at Big Blue reminds me of
Longboat driver taking us out to dive boat. Big Blue Dive Shop in the background.
a CCS house when I was volunteering…everyone who stays here is training to dive…so you have the old groups moving on, new groups coming in…it’s like a little family. The water here is amazing as well…it’s like a big, heated swimming pool. Most of the water I have been diving in has been between 80-85 degrees F…and it’s so calm I actually saw guys wakeboarding the ocean yesterday.
Last night I went to some of the little clubs along the beach. There was this place called Pure that was straight out of Ibiza. The only chairs were these huge red beanbags…so you could just lounge, sip tropical drinks, and watch the guys dancing to the trance music with fire sticks.
I have also found my new favorite food. Massaman Curry. I am going to extremes here, but I think I prefer it even to Chipotle! In fact, what I really want to do is take a cooking class one of these days and learn how to make it…then when I get home, use it as a salsa on my Chipotle burritos or tacos. Oh, just the thought of it makes my mouth water! I know that’s cheesy…but it’s that good.
Heading out to dive
OK, if you’re still reading, it means you are actually interested in what I say…and if you are…please do me a favor, if you are American, and you don’t know where this is, please look up Koh Tao on a map. Just to know where it is. I am having a very hard time being American out here right now. I never feel unsafe or any hatred from people…but there is just this unsaid thing that happens when people find out I’m from the US. We are just really known for our ignorance and arrogance. It’s really sad. But after digging a little deeper with some of the people I have met along the way, they say the one thing that really personifies this, is the fact that Americans don’t know geography. They say its almost like Americans think they are the center of the universe, so they don’t need to know where anything else is. And it’s not remote places like Bhutan or something. It’s as simple as mixing up Sweden with Switzerland.
Well, I am off. I think I am going to do my advanced scuba course (which allows me to dive to 30 meters instead of 18…and
This is one of our dive spots. It's actually 3 islands connected by one beach...the only like it in the world. A few years ago the Red Hot Chili Peppers rented all 3 islands and every bungalow for them and their friends to party for a couple months.
allows me to dive without a guide) then I’m heading up north to Chiang Mai. There were places I was going to hit in between…but I have to be out of Thailand by Feb 8th (only 30 days are allowed without a visa), so I think I might come back and see more of the south after Cambodia.
Hope all is well with everyone!
Talk to you soon,
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