The Ketchup Blog Part I... Divemaster job in Aqaba

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January 16th 2016
Published: January 16th 2016
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Ketchup Blog Part I

Yeah so the blog... I feel bad that I haven’t written a single one for over a month and I seriously doubt that I could even remember one day in full detail. But like someone who just woken up from a coma and can’t remember who they are, I decided to look through photos on my phone to see what has happened the last few weeks of 2015 and the first few of 2016. Oh yeah happy new year! I do hope you spent it with loved ones. I did! I actually spooned my father to keep warm in a very cold desert… But more on that later. One last thing before I begin I kind of didn't have any photos to include on this blog so instead I have added photos from my favourite Facebook group instead followed by my favourite quotes from the actor. Happy Reading!

So I last finished the blog on the 13th December and I made an Instagram account to celebrate the takeover ever reaching arms of Facebook and its company absorbing ethos. The following is a list of companies Facebook have acquired from 2011:
2011 –

Killing me won’t bring back the god damn honey!
Rel8tion, Beluga, Snaptu, RecRec, DayTum, Sofa, MailRank, Push Pop Press,, Strobe, Gowalla
2012 – Instagram, Tagtile, Glancee,, Kama,, Spool, Acrylic Software, Threadsy
2013 – Atlas, osmeta, Hot Studio, Spaceport, Parse, Monoidics, Jibbigo, Onavo, SportStream
2014 – Little Eye Labs, Branch, WhatsApp, Oculus VR, Ascenta, ProtoGeo Oy, PrivateCore, LiveRail, WaveGroupSound
2015 –, Quickfire, TheFind, Surreal Vision, Pebbles

I know right?! And here’s me and you thinking it was just Whatsapp and Instagram.

On the last blog I also talked about the fact I had running hot water! Which is a FUCKING BIG DEAL. Never underestimate the power of hot water (not the physical power, I mean I do not have a power shower, the sheer relaxation and good mood it puts your in is what I’m on about).

A common thought of many days in November and early December were ‘Fuck the blog!’, I literally would think that. But like a spoiled toddler I didn’t know what I had until I lost it. So here it is! My old toy back in my possession after over a month (well most of it! Just the most memorable

I was a little drunk… plus I was horny

Before you read further read this, USAID are funding a Local Enterprise Support Project which for some reason on all of the USAID documents I need to fill out have shortened it to LENS, when actually it should be LESP. Maybe someone in USAID has a lisp and it would have been a cruel to call the project LESP.

Basically USAID with LENS are funding dive centres that are part of the Aqaba Dive Association to try and make our dive centres run at full capacity all year round. We can attain a large sum of money (I won’t say how much because I don’t know if I’m allowed to) but the money must be used to hit any of these targets:
Enhancement of production efficiency and effectiveness

Development of new products/services

Creation of new jobs for Jordanians

Access to new markets

Quality improvements in products/services, processes and operations

Increased MSE revenue

New linkages within the supply and value chains, including new suppliers, customers, service providers and other inputs and outputs

The following is a draft of what would have been for the blog on the

I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire!I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire!I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire!I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire!I'm a vampire!
14th – 20th December:

On Tuesday I took a day off and again didn’t do much… Except for skyping my mum! I did also look for some equipment for the centre for the USAID to fund. After a meeting with Edmund on Monday (that’s all I really did on Monday) I found out that basically we can’t have a new van paid for because although it would be really helpful, in the past LENS projects a vehicle has been bought but then has been driven to a car dealership and sold which then means those people have a large sum of money which in the past again has been used on bad things or things like a new T.V. for the home of the person who received the grant. So instead I have been looking at cameras and diving equipment for now. I’ve been checking out some webbed gloves for diving so that we can take people who have difficulty with moving their legs or who can’t move them at all. This will open up a new market for us and makes diving a really fun and active sport to people who as far as I can tell

Time's like a prickly pear... I'm a prickly pear!
don’t have any other things to do. I have seen people in wheelchairs going around the streets of Aqaba but I don’t think that there is anything for them to do and I doubt many have even thought about diving. It’s a very big gap in the market and something that we can really target.

14 & 15th December

I had no dives on Monday and on Tuesday I took a day off to Netflix and chill, except there isn’t any Netflix in Jordan so it was more chill. Wednesday I was back in the centre and I made myself a little desk area. I never wanted a desk job but I kind of enjoyed having my own little space. The purpose of my office was to have some space to research for USAID because I need to find basically anything that can help bring more customers, market our dive centre more and make us more money.

Something awesome about today though was the fact that I went shopping with Belal, we were like two excitable school girls with £20 we were given by nanna. I browsed the shops on this one street that sells

What do you say we cut the chit chat a-hole
second hand clothing but some of it is really good quality! I have been looking for a jacket for a while as I forgot to pack one when I was in Liverpool… I thought I would not need one for the Middle East. Oh how wrong I was. I have been borrowing a jacket from Mohamed the past couple of weeks but today I was determined to find one. The first shop we went in to had a great brown suede jacket with a wool collar and wool interior. It was a mighty fine piece of garment. But I wanted to play the field, keep my options open. So I went into the other 7-10 shops browsing around but nothing tickled my pickle. Like so many women who I have went shopping with in the UK I went back in to the first shop I had visited and picked out the only jacket I liked that could actually fit me too. Score!

Not only did I love the jacket but also I knew by looking at it that it was definitely worth more than the 15JD = £12.22. I googled the brand which is J. Crew and couldn’t find

That was the plan to give you a boner and you got one! Congratulations you're human!
the exact jacket I had but I did find another brown suede jacket. The price was 950 JD which is about £900, so it’s safe to say it was a good investment! Ok yeah it is second hand but there are no tears, rips, stains or any other marks. I love the collar as it kind of reminds me of Jon Snow in Game of Thrones who wears, admittedly a fluffier collar jacket but it’s the closest I’m going to get. Belal loves it too as he is a fan of Game of Thrones as well!

17th December

I didn’t do much on Thursday besides walk with a bounce in my step with my new jacket. We didn’t have any customers so yeah I just strutted my stuff around the vicinity of the centre lovin’ life brah. Lovin’ life. I did do some work as I am getting paid from Mo right now so I found some more good prices equipment to put on the form for the USAID LENS Project. I currently have every bit of kit we use on everyday dives on the list i.e. regulators, BCD’s, wetsuits etc. I’ve been checking out some other things that would help such as 4G internet being installed here so customers can use it. How can this help bring in more customers you might ask? Well first of all we can advertise online but also outside our shop that we have free 4G Wi-Fi to use. Which is helpful for a number of reasons as number one it can allow people who might not have even thought about diving come into the shop and use the internet but then we get talking and convince them too. Another reason is that customers can connect to it and upload photos very quickly and also tag the location they are at therefore increasing our online presence.

Stuff is happening in Aqaba and that is great. I like stuff.

19th December

Two dives on Saturday! Hurrah! There was 3 Danish people who are in Aqaba for a few days. They came in yesterday looking to book a snorkelling trip but SCUBA in Aqaba would be a much better experience for them rather than snorkelling! I took out Christian and Stine first who both enjoyed it but Christian had some issues with his mask because he has a big manly Danish beard and so water was leaking inside the mask. This caused him having to constantly clear it which after the first or second try he was doing quite well at but it was a big issue because it was like turning on a tap inside his mask. I sent him back to shore and gave an extra 10 minutes to Stine who could now explore Rainbow Reef with my undivided attention. After the first dive I took out Maria who was a natural diver I think, much like Stine was to be honest. We saw a Klunzinger’s feather star walking up a slope which was awesome! I have never seen one in the open before so it was really special and great to see.

In the evening we went out for drinks, well myself, Stine and Christian did. Unfortunately Maria was a bit ill so she couldn’t make it (I reckon she just wouldn’t be able to keep up). Obviously I took them to my tucked away little den of Mike’s bar, which is the Irish bar that isn’t Irish in any way at all. But I love it.

20th December

On Sunday I went out with Maria to give Stine and Christian some time alone. Oh yeah they’re a couple by the way. Getting married next year which is exciting! I again went to Mike’s bar because I love the place and Maria has never been as she was ill the day before. She just had the one beer because she still didn’t feel 100%! (MISSING)When she went to the toilet I paid the bill, sneaky Leslie.

22nd December
Today was Christian’s birthday so from what I remember we went out to a food shop called Pistachio’s and I didn’t have high hopes as I was expecting them to only sell nuts and then I would have had to forcefully digested food I didn’t like in order to be socially accepted. I was pleasantly surprised as to what they had on offer and bought some ice cream and cake. The 3 guys chose either cake or ice cream but as I am a greedy mo’ fo’ I opted to get both. I whipped out some candles which I acquired prior to this meet up and we all sang Happy Birthday! Much to the embarrassment to Christian as he doesn’t like the song being sung to him, who does? But it was especially embarrassing because we were sitting outside so all the passers-by noticed but they could tip their hats and wish him a good day. From what else I remember we went to the beach and took some photos! It was a good day to say the least!

25th December – Crimbo
I really wanted to dive on Christmas day but I wanted to have a fun dive a.k.a. a piss about dive. This is a dive without customers. I have kind of turned into a whore with Instagram. I really wanted to get some photos diving just for Instagram so that I could progressively upload one every few days and try to rack up more followers. Rather than uploading a bunch of photos on one day and then no photos for a week.

I saw two westerners (listen to me sounding like a true Jordanian) walk near the shop. I could see that they were thinking about walking in and asking for dives. But I didn’t want them too! I wanted my photos for Instagram! But obviously they walked in and asked for two dives.
Immediately upon them entering I told them to walk off and politely said ‘we aren’t taking out groups today because I want some good photos for my Instagram’
To which they replied ‘Oh well how about I speak to your boss?’
‘Go right ahead’ I said ‘He will tell you the same thing, we don’t take kindly to you folks in here, it’s Christmas day for fuck sake go and eat some Brussel sprouts’
‘you sir will receive the worst review on TripAdvisor that there has ever been!’ both of them screamed in my face ‘What is your name?!’
I took in a deep breath, looked them square in the eyes and whispered through my gritted teeth ‘Saint fucking Nick’
They grudgingly left the building but I was left victorious!

Later on that day I kept true to my word and skyped the family who in my head I pictured were all gathered around probably watching quality family programmes, selected by the wise old geezer that is my grandad. But also eating some food (and by some I mean FUCKING LOADS AS IT WAS CHRISTMAS) laid out as every year goes. When I managed to connect after some failed attempts my grandad couldn’t believe that she could see me in real time. She was gobsmacked! I put on a t-shirt for the video call but I actually was chilling in my boxies with a small circular area of arms reach around me that was clear of any wrappers and therefore looked clean. Oh yeah I didn’t really say that to those divers today, we had 2 nice and enjoyable dives instead.

29th December – Abu Adam has landed
My dad visited me over new year! He was here just for the week but it was eventful. He managed to bring with him cards from home and presents (mainly chocolate and sweets, my family know me well). When I got to the hotel I saw him waiting in the lobby and he took me upstairs to his hotel room. I hope the hotel staff didn’t think that I was a rent boy. Upon entering the hotel room I wolfed down a gummy snowman and a bunch of various chocolate bars from a Cadbury’s chocolate collection thing, the ones that are in the shape of a stocking (a Christmas stocking, not the other kind! Filthy!).

After feasting like Buddy (Will Ferrell) with a tradition elf breakfast I was released on to the streets of Aqaba on an emotional high (and sugar high) that was the realisation that my dad was actually here. HERE. IN AQABA. The place I’ve been living in for 3 months with completely new people and now my dad was here. I felt like a secret agent who was living off the radar in a strange foreign land for their own protection and now their past had caught up with them.

I think I told my dad everyday he was here at least 4 or 5 times a day; ‘Dad it’s so weird you’re here!’… Maybe not the most welcoming thing to say, but it was the truth!

As I was talking to my dad in the hotel room he asked if I wanted a cup of tea (English men can talk a lot about tea). I quickly explained to him that he would want to give it a miss and not make a brew. I decided to prep him for what was to come. He was not going to the slaughterhouse or anything but I know quite a few people in Aqaba as it’s a small town as there aren’t many young, lanky, blonde brits knocking about. So I was telling him that many people would want to talk to him and give him cups of tea. My precognition was correct many people did indeed offer us cups of tea. In fact that is what most of the day consisted of; getting cups of tea but also handing out The Beatles keyrings was the main points of the first day. Which I’m not complaining about. In fact that is the main reason I wanted my dad to come, bring me chocolate, be able to get free cups of tea basically anywhere we went and also pay for my trip to Petra! ONLY JOKING ABU ADAM.

Oh yeah Abu means father and so if you have a son or daughter, you take the child’s name and add ‘Abu’ at the start of it which means ‘father’. It basically translates to father of Adam. Although I don’t know where the ‘of’ fits in, maybe they don’t have it in Arabic.

I wanted to go to Petra on Wednesday as we didn’t have any divers. We did make it but ermagerd I should have organised things beforehand. It was all put together last minute, which although makes for an interesting blog read I was a bit nervous at the time.
It’s about time I went to go and see Petra, everyone who comes in for a dive always ask me if I’ve visited it and I say no! Then they’re like but you’ve been here for 3 months… Awkward turtle. But soon I would have been there, saw it and bought the wooden figure of a camel.

That will have to wait until the next blog as I want to divide it into 2 separate blogs. Until the hasta luego caimans.


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