First Day-Open water diving course

Patong Travel Blog

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Thailand Diver opposite Jungceylon shopping mall

I walked to the diving centre in the early morning. The whole street was very quiet except a few Tuktuk drivers trying to get some business. There's a huge difference between day time and night time here in Patong. When I stepped in the door of the diving centre, my instructor was already there waiting. The guy at reception introduced him to me and I saw another guy who seemed to be my diving buddy was still doing his paperwork with the reception. To be honestly, the first impression of my instructor was not very good. He looked a bit like a junkie to me, maybe it was too early. I figured he's South African based on his personality and accent, which quite ressemble to my roommates.

We walked in the classroom upstairs and introduced ourselves to each other.

I asked the instructor where he come from, he said Johannesburg. Bingo! At beginning, we were given some forms to sign regarding our personal contact and medication details. The instructor asked us to write as neat as we can, cos it would be sent away later. I felt hard to hold my pen steady when I was trying to write the first letter. Damn boxing training previous day, I didn't realize much until I started to write. It's so embarassing that my handwriting looked like come from the other hand. Then we started our lessons by watching diving videos chapter by chapter, and the instructor went through the quiz at the end of each chapter with us. When we finished 3 chapters, we were told our diving gears were already delivered to the pool.
Lunch@ foodcourt lower ground in Junceylon
So we walked to the pool to do some exercise. We were firstly required to swim, tread water or just floating for about 12mins without touching the edge of the pool. At same time, the instructor was having a cigi break. No wonder he was coughing occasionally, I wonder if he would have equalization problem if he smoke too much. Unlike the warm ocean water, the pool water was damn cold. But we still had to jump in and swimming. Then he showed us how to set up the diving gear and asked us to do and un-do it 3 times. We were told a few gestures for communication down under. After that, we jumped in the pool with our gears on. When we get down below, he showed us what to do and then required us to do what he just did one by one.

I was really slow and clumsy, didn't know how to equalize and breath correctly.

Dinner@a hotel bar staff recommended Thai restaurant nearby.
My ears were painful and I drank lots of pool water and choked myself a lot during the pool exercise. I kept signal something wrong with me; need to get up to the surface. So they had to come with me to the surface and asked me what's wrong. I felt quite frustrating. He kept saying it's pretty straight forward and how easy it was, which made me feel bad to ask question. My diving buddy had some diving experience before, he just come to get his certificate this time, so he was doing ok. I guess the instructor must be sick of me for being such a stupid student, but he didn't show any impatience or irritation. I realized scuba diving wasn't as easy as I thought. No wonder a friend of mine told me when she had her first diving experience in Cairns, she was dug up only after 5mins and didn't want to get down again.
Having dinner with my american roommate Lisa
The instructor told us we must finish those exercise before we could dive in the ocean, and he's desperate to go to the toilet at the time. So we agreed to get down below again. I felt bad that I kept interrupting our exercise. I tried to calm myself down and hold still when I watching his instruction. But my breath problem just kept failing me. When my diving buddy doing the exercise halfway, I can't hold it no more, had to signal for going up. I told him I need a break to adjust my breath, I felt myself full of air and water inside my body. Later I asked my diving buddy how he managed to do all these. Interesting I found was they both spoke perfect English, but I understood my diving buddy better than my instructor. So that was the pool exercise.

We were told that we can have an hour lunch break and was required to come back to the classroom to finish remaining chapters. So I went to have lunch with my diving buddy together at food court in Jungceylon. I got to know that he was born in HK, and raised in UK with his family. He's been travelling a lot in Asia, and been to Thailand a few time before. He's been teaching English in Japan for more than 5 years. He also did Muay Thai training the day before and had eight fights during past five years. I was amazed that he can write letters properly unlike me.

After lunch, we walked back to the classroom and went through the remaining chapters and did some quiz. I was hopeless with the quiz. I was too lazy to read through the manual beforehand in this holiday time, and was too slow to follow his instruction.

Tomorrow we'll be heading to Coral Island to dive 12m under and we have final exam waiting for us. I don't know how I can manage that, consider I had pool disaster today.

When I got back to the hostel, I met my new roommate Lisa from L.A, who's also been teaching English in Japan for 2 years. She already had her Open Water certificate and would doing the fun diving next day with the diving centre next door. We both love spicy Thai food, so we went to have dinner together and discussed a bit about the diving. She encouraged me and calmed me down a lot for the next day diving.

Later I went to Bangla boxing stadium to watch the championship fighting. The stadium was pretty full, the flirty dude saw me and told me he had reserved a good seat for me.

But when I get inside, people were everywhere, I can hardly find where my reserved seat was. So I just picked an empty spot near the ring and sat there watching. I found it's quite annoying that during the fights, people kept walking through in front me to sell drinks, shoot videos and to ask for bets, which blocked my views from time to time so that I cannot enjoy watching the fighting. People around me kept smoking, which made this crowd stadium even harder to breath. Coincidently, my diving buddy was also there watching the show. He came with his friends and asked me to sit with them. He was kindly bought me a can of Coke and generously offer his seat for me, so that I can have a better view. There're total 9 fightings, each had 6 rounds.
The swedish girl won against her Thai opponent
First couple of fighting were Thai kids, third match was between 2 Thai girls, although I heard some guy in front said they're ladyboys. The ladyboys have quite feminine look there, I can only judge them by their hands to distinct from other women. But here they're both wearing boxing gloves, I don't know how to tell if they're ladyboys or girls. Then we watched a Swedish girl fighting against a Thai girl. Based on the personality, I guessed the aggressive Swedish girl would win and she really did. I should've bet. The Russian guy in the later match was really a tough cookie, he did all the amazing moves including an upside down kick and won the fight. His opponent was just strong enough for not bleeding. The next match was an Aussie against a Thai.
The poor Aussie guy was full of blood on his face. People started to scream, and they had to clean his face up before continuing. He tried to turn the situation around, but still been beaten up badly and bleed again. I didn't know whether it's a joke but the judge announced the Aussie guy won the match, and all the audience was astoned and yelling what the hell. Then the judge re-announced the Thai boxer won. By that time, I found my two trainers were also there in the stadium and we said hello and shook hands with each other. With my diving buddy's help, I got pictures taken with the Thai winner, whose name I didn't even know. The last fighting was a Thai boxer who was the best from the south island fighting against a Brazilian boxer. Although the brazilian was also tough, he lost the fight within our expectation.

When all the fighting finished, it was already 1am. My diving buddy said he was going to play pool with his friends. What an energetic person. I had to go back to sleep.  God knows how I am going to do the diving next day.

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