Friday, August 25th, 2017

I’m sitting at a restaurant (warung) on the beach, the sun is setting, and the waves are rolling in. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I still can’t believe I’m here. And I especially can’t believe that I’ve been here only a week. Feels like it’s been for so, so much longer.

I’m getting a feel for the little things… When to stop opening my door before it squeaks, where the big pot holes are to avoid on my scooter, and which warung has the best wi-fi for posting here (Ganesh Amed…the one with all the books). Wi-fi is nearly nonexistent at the homestays where I’m living. For the first few days, I thought about changing homestays so that I could find one with better wi-fi. But I’m actually kind of enjoying being “off the grid” completely. I’d love to be able to easily go down to the beach and write, but instead, I’m taking this time to live.

The past couple of days I’ve been working on getting my Scuba open water certification. It’s an accelerated class, so it only takes 3 days, as opposed to weeks. I was supposed to complete it today, but the visibility at the last dive was going to be poor, so we decided to postpone til tomorrow or Sunday. Taking this course made me feel like I was back in school again. Reading and studying like crazy to pass my final exam (I did!).

My first dive was amazing, but terrifying at the same time. We went down to about 12 meters and a few times I looked up and thought, “Holy shit, I can’t make any mistakes down here. If I want to give up, I simply cannot because I’d harm myself…and pooooossibly die.” So needless to say, the incredible aquatic life around me wasn’t really on my mind. Water kept leaking into my goggles and there was a period of time I could barely see and was trying to talk myself out of a panic attack. I channeled my inner yoga and just told myself to take long, deep breaths. “It’s all good. You’re floating and you’re a fish right now.” Thankfully, I survived…

I don’t want to say too much about my instructor, but I’ll say that when I asked for a new mask because water was leaking in, he grabbed a smaller one and said, “Here’s a mask for problem faces.” Uhhh, thanks. Let’s just say, I didn’t really mesh with him. He treated me like I was an idiot (which in some cases I was…I’ve never dived before!). And oddly enough, the ‘problem-face mask’ helped me enjoy the last two dives far more.

During yesterday’s skill set and exam, my instructor said he was surprised by how well I did. Uhhh, thanks again… It was an interesting couple of days with him and after our dive today, I called him out on his assholeness. He apologized and things seemed to get a bit better. One more dive and then I’ll (hopefully) be certified!

Last night I tried Durian for my first time. The “stinky fruit.” It’s true…it’s really damn stinky. I had several conversations with my old co-worker, Trayton, about Durian and have always wanted to try it. Golo brought a small one that was about 30,000 rupiah (a little over $2.00). In the states, Durian can cost up to $9-$12. It’s essentially considered a delicacy and paying $2 for fruit here in Bali is VERY expensive. Isn’t it funny that the most…*ahem* female-looking foods (durian, oysters) are considered delicacies? Anyway… We opened it and apparently it wasn’t a very good one, but there were sections we could eat out of. It reminded me of a mix of an oyster and a big lima bean. There’s a little bit of ‘meat’ around the seed that kind of tasted like a sweet garlic in a way. Very hard to describe. I was surprised that I didn’t hate it…

I ventured out on my scooter in the dark for the first time last night. I’ve already discovered my favorite snack here (Twistko corn chips) that is sold at a little store about a mile away from my room. Perfect reason to take a night time ride. Is it weird that I was giddy when I returned back to Diver’s Cafe in one piece?? Getting more comfortable…slowly, but surely. Like I mentioned before, I almost returned my scooter because I didn’t think I’d want to drive it anymore, but I’m really glad I didn’t. Just like diving, and everything else in life, it takes time.

And the next installment of “Things Cheaper Than a Starbucks Tall White Mocha”:

May I present the most incredible fried banana on the planet.

By the way, I miss you all.



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