Friday, September 19, 2008

PADI Open Water, day 1: Vacation in the classroom

I woke up at 8, dreaming that I was visiting Jerusalem, and that the nearby river (not the Jordan river, mind you, but the Olt) was flooding. In the dream, I was trying to run away in a battered Dacia 1300 car. It’s strange how the human mind works. I woke up with a runny nose, so I took an ‘Airwaves’ drop, hoping I won’t have my Eustachian tubes clogged. A diver fears more the common cold, than sharks or manta rays; indeed, whereas one can easily survive with a cold on the ground, it makes equalizing the ear pressure a very difficult – sometimes impossible – task. And burst eardrums are no fun.
At 9:45, Bianca – my diving buddy – arrived from her hotel. Mohammed, the diving shop manager, took us to the pool and gave us a swimming test – 7 pool laps, and swimming uninterruptedly for five minutes. Then we met Tito, the diving instructor. We started with the theory – including viewing a DVD. We learnt about the diving equipment, then we had a lunch break. When we returned, we spent some time with my old friend – that is, bureaucracy (filling in the student file) and then we learnt several diving skills, which sounded quite difficult at first, but then we moved to the pool and we did several dives where we practiced these skills (assembling and sisassembling the equipment, clearing the mask underwater, snorkeling, equalizing, using the spare mouthpiece, neutral buoyancy, inflating the BCD with the mouth). We finished at 6 PM, when Tito – who was fasting for the Ramadan – finally got to eat.
It’s 7 PM now, and the Muezeen is calling people to prayer. Although my religion does not compel me to fast during Ramadan, the restaurant here opens only at 7:30 for the evening meal – so I have no choice but to wait.


keana said...

WOW... great I had the same instructor! :D What a coincidence :)