I spent the day today in a pool learning how to avoid death when you are 10 meters below water. I hope I'm a fast learner. Tomorrow will be the real deal when I get to swim amongst coral reef and fishies.
My instrustor is a total Austraialian cutie. Why does it seem that all scuba, ski, and other adventure sport instructors are cute? Is that a prerequistie? Is appearance a qualifier for certification? In any case, Sean the instructor is the classic case of a very bad boy who is trying to turn his life around. He is quite the chatty fellow and in the few hours I've known him I've picked up several things about him. 1) He comes from a very wealthy family, 2) He used to be a former architect and interior designer (he swears up and down that he is not gay), 3) He had gotten into a bit of trouble in his previous life - mostly alcohol and drug influenced I gather, 4) Scuba instruction is a means for him to clear his head and his lifestyle - he's given up drinking for the time being and is currently a veggie.
Isn't it funny how people who have lived toxic lives adopt extrodinarily asectic habits when they try to turn themselves around? Sean is not the first person to utilize this strategy and I'm sure he's not the last. LOL. I'm also guessing that Sean is not the only Ex-pat here in thailand that is trying to run away from something.
Thailand is an interesting country. It's a country caught somewhere between 21st century modernity and third world poverty. Everyone seemingly has a mobile phone and one can find any number of Unilever consumer pacakged goods at the local tin hut. However, drive a bit and you will eventually drive by little shanty towns. I was reading an Economist article on the flight over and it was discussing the economical transformation that has taken place in Vietnam. In the article I learned that about a third of Thailand's population still lives on less than a dollar a day. This is of course a huge improvement from over 50% just a decade ago. Makes me wonder when I marvel at the delicious Pad Thai that I've consuming on a near daily basis that only costs about $2.25.