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Adventures of a Dive Instructor – Part 9

Just for fun, some of the good stuff the owner of IDC Guide got up to when working as a dive Instructor / running a dive centre in Phuket, Thailand, its a snapshot of an email I sent to friends back in the UK

Another three months has gone by and another instalment of my amusing stories for your entertainment:

  • Rode an Elephant (one hour in the Jungle) they are pretty hairy !
  • Seen a Snake Show
  • Captured a python which decided to take a nap in our dive equipment room ! – the locals wanted to kill it but we released it into the forest
  • Dived with my Son Connor, Certified Connor as a diver and given him a student of the week award !
  • Organised a beach cleanup
  • Won a contract for the Dive Centre with a website diving / hotel portal.
  • Been involved with a Military Coup ! we had a public holiday in phuket, all the action was in Bangkok.
  • Rehomed a Cat from a Bar and installed him in our Dive Centre (Nitrox the cat).
  • Cleaned up Cat poo(see above).
  • Been happy to see the Cat eat the Gekkos (no more cleaning up Gekko poo 🙂 )
  • Fed a Gekko to the cat (very rewarding moment)
  • Went to Burma (Myanmar) for a visa run, 15 hours travelling to get a stamp in my passport, I can tell you it wasnt a fun day. Had my passport checked by a visa company worker while on a boat between Thailand / Burma who on completion of his checks asked me if I wanted any ‘erection medication’ or cigarettes ( 200 cigarettes costs £3 !)
  • Captured a biting lizard that appeared on the ceiling one morning !
  • Stopped looking twice when I see an elephant walking down the road
  • Met people or know of people with names of, ‘b’, Poo, pawn, supa pawn, titty porn, 9, 10 (9 and 10 are sisters), wish, windsurf (yes really), boat, airline, bam bam, august, september, cat, boo, mieoww bel, a sugar and sweet (sister again),whale and bambi (both very fat !), cow ( goes by the name of moo !), four, ooh, oi, pear, apple, bum, bean, fone, eek, what, lick, ‘a’ poosack, ping ping, pang pang and pong pong (family of sisters / brothers), bus, golf, ferrari, donut, piano, baby, first, proud, 1, nip, dodi, mill, fun, oak, catchon, jedi, acre, far, can can, chilli, girl (who happens to be a boy) tiger, poocow, poome. forn, mooham, geewho, bebe, junk, hero, toe, cartoon, stingray, pray, cucumber, pain, poewi. tea, nam, moot. nuui . dum, red (dang), porn pimpa ( a Thai Dive Instructor), pay (an accountant !)
  • Got an emergency phone call from an Instructor friend that was in the Phillipines who needed the Emergency phone numbers for the Norwegian Embassy in Manilla as one of his friends had been kidnapped !!
  • Got an anxious phone call from a Friend that needed to know if I knew how to get to Burma by road ! ( I could only advise him that it was upwards / northwards)
  • Now think its discusting to wipe your backside with toilet paper (you use a hose here while sitting on the toilet) and just use the paper for drying !
  • Got an emergency text message saying that a dive instructor needed blood (a neg or o neg) urgently as that blood was very rare in asia as he had lost lots in a motorbike accident and wasnt expected to live without it. Between the ‘Dive Community’ we found lots of people willing to donate and they got themselves to hospital’ Dont know the outcome yet .. update 🙁 heard he had his leg amputated.
  • I see on average 1 serious motorbike (moped) accident per week here, on the roads of Phuket in an average month one person Dies every other day. Spoke to a taxi driver about me seeing one accident per week and he says he sees at least one per day, one day he saw 10 !
  • Driving in Thailand is a bit different to doing so in the UK, The bad bits : indicators are not used, horns indicate you are there, flashing headlights do not mean I will let you out but they mean I am not stopping. Dogs lie in the road and do not move for cars. Mopeds overtake you on both sides and travel on paths. Mopeds also come towards you on your side of the road. One of the good bits there are better views when driving and you can drive on the left hand side of the road here, although thats a very rough rule!
  • When it rains hard here you wonder why the UK has a reputation for rain as the rain here comes so hard and so fast that roads and paths flood almost instantly. Luckily though I havent seen much rain through this low season (also called the green season)
  • Have been told off for showing the soles of my feet in public! (not acceptable in thai culture)
  • Now use tiger balm for any cuts / burns / sprains just like the Thais
  • Realised the real value of money
  • Seen poverty (most Thais live in huts and earn next to nothing) / greed (fat german sex tourists) / corruption (bent corrupt thai police) and sin (german sex tourists)
  • Lost a Mask and Snorkel (big surf on the beach at the end of a dive) thought about it afterwards and realised that the snorkel was the one that Mum and Dad bought me 3 years ago before I had even tried Scuba so was a bit upset about that.
  • Got a bit fed up of eating out in restaurants / cafes / bars ! ( I have only eaten lunch / dinner once in a house in 6 months)
  • Been an extra on a Film (the Tsunami Film made for tv called ‘the aftermath’) Look for me in the Airport scene with Tim Roth (behind some girls he talks to) and in the Metropole Hotel Bar Scene (sitting at a table and walking around on my mobile) and in the hospital scenes (im in a few scenes there I think). I hope they all dont get cut out !
  • Realised why the Big hotels out here have signs outside saying ‘no durian’ If you didnt know its a fruit and the smelliest thing you ever came across. While on my 2nd trip to Kuala Lumpur I passed a stall 2 streets from my room, the smell is strong at the stall but it drifted into my room and didnt go away after 24 hours, it must cling to the fabric or something ? Anyway I tried one also and they are like eating nothing else you have ever tried, not my bag but the Malay people seem to love it, went past a table of 6 girls all tucking into them
  • Eaten a Pigeon (was on the menu next to frogs) and it was tasty
  • Haggled over a £3 taxi trip (30 mins in Kuala lumpur)
  • Not seen my Son Connor for 6 months 🙁 Although he is coming out here on Wednesday 16th for 3 weeks with my Mum 🙂
  • On the road seen an elephant warning sign
  • On the road overtaken an elephant (two actually)
  • Seen a Buffalo in someones garden
  • Driven a moped
  • Crashed a moped
  • Been to Thailand
  • Been to Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Been up the Petronas towers (twin towers)
  • Met Vietnamese / Thai / Malay / Laos people
  • Eaten Sushi from those moving platform things (In Kuala Lumpur)
  • Stayed in the YMCA (it wasnt much fun)
  • Taught a dive course
  • Guided a group of divers
  • Got paid for diving !
  • Run a Dive Centre
  • Promoted a Dive centre
  • Received a tip (for diving courses and guiding)
  • Found a lizard (about 40cm long) in the office ! (quite a shock)
  • Found a frog in the office (bigger shock as it was late and dark as I didnt have the lights on)
  • Cleared up lizard poo (see above)
  • Cleared up Frog poo (see above)
  • Bought some dog food (for a dog that sleeps outside my house)
  • Paid off (bribed ?) the police (work permit not available)
  • Threatened with Prison by the corrupt thai police (see above)
  • Experienced incompetent Lawyers
  • Been overtaken by 3 people on a moped
  • Seen 5 people on a moped
  • Been asked for my card
  • Been offered work (4 offers in one day !)
  • Found a frog in my house
  • Stayed above a bar.
  • Stayed in a thai house
  • Seen a leopard shark / Manta Ray and a ghost pipefish in the same day.
  • Been happy to be paid £9 for a days work
  • Been asked where I was from after knowing someone for 3 days!
  • Met people that cannot speak 1 work of English
  • Seen some fantastic sunsets / islands
  • Been to Phi Phi (The beach film)
  • Gone away without insurance !
  • Had an ear infection (dirty pool water probably)
  • Not work socks or boxers for 3 months !
  • worn only sandals for 3 months
  • Seen Dolphins in the wild
  • Seen dead sharks 🙁
  • Filled up a tank of petrol for £15
  • eaten dinner for under £1
  • Seen a gaggle of ladyboys
  • Been introduced to a Ladyboy ! (you will be pleased to know there is no more firsts involving Ladyboys)
  • Driven a pickup
  • Travelled in the back of a Pickup
  • bought a tshirt for £1 and felt ripped off
  • arranged visa documentation in a malaysia travel agents on a wireless laptop via skype with someone I didnt know
  • Missed a flight (my flight back to UK was on the 14th April)
  • Not known my occupation when asked
  • Rented a room for £60 per month
  • Rented a house for £120 per month
  • Seen a seahorse
  • Lost a dive buddy ! (luckily not for long)
  • Seen a dog have sex with another dog (not a bitch, thai gay dogs ?)
  • Not reacted when geckos (little lizard things) climbed up walls in house / dive centre (its normal here !)
  • Become dependant on a laptop (wireless) / Internet for work / entertainment / communication
  • Eaten an Indian on a Banana Leaf
  • Stood in line on an underground train in Malaysia (yes they queue in lines to get on trains)
  • Had a tab at a bar.
  • Taught a Gold Miner and a Film Director how to dive (new Tsunami film being filmed here now).