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Danger from the Deep

December 20, 2009

Well the results are in.  Bangkok Dangerous has finished a respectable 5th in the “New” category of the Canadian Blog Awards.  Not too bad considering two of my more humor related stories involve vomiting and trying to emulate South African accents.  On the other hand I was beaten by two spots by a blog called Way to Suck That [mild expletive], so what does that really say about what we’re voting for?  Either way it was fun to see the blog in contention (despite the misspelling).  Thanks again for the votes and I hope to keep you interested in the months to come.

Since my first pay cheque I’ve been spending time in the dusty bookshops looking for new reading material.  It’s like stepping back in time a little bit.  I feel like a patron in Portobello Road from Bed Knobs and Broomsticks.  Much like the libraries of flea markets and leather buckle chests, there are endless numbers of dusty, ancient old books that make you wonder what’s it going to take for someone to pick this up and liberate it from the chaff of traveller’s inventory? *Anything and everything a chap can unload ;)*   Every couple books you flip through, you’ll find a bookmark of some kind or another whether it be a hand drawn map of the island, a postcard or, uncomfortably, a receipt from 7-11 tallying booze, KY lube, and batteries.  Hmmm. 
I found an old copy of The Man From St. Petersburg by Ken Follet.  I’ve decided I like the look of old book covers.

I finished my SSI Advanced Adventurer just the other day.  It all went off without a hitch until the last 2 minutes of our night dive.  I’m slowly making our way back to the boat when I feel a tugging at my fin. My first thought is there must be something cool one of my students want to show me.  A German lad named Chris shows me his hand and there’s 8-9 purple and black dots scattered over his thumb and palm.  One or two has a dark spike sticking out which was an unmistakable Sea Urchin spine.  Dammit.  He gives me the shaky palm “something’s not right”.  No kidding – the dive’s over.  We surface and swim back to the boat.  He’s doing fine and it doesn’t take long before we start joking about it.  What had happened was he and his buddy had gotten a little tangled in the darkness and his mask came slightly loose.  In the confusion he accidently swatted his hand out to right himself up and it connected with an unsuspecting urchin on the side of a rock.  Back on boat he lights a cigarette and we pack in his kit, while I apply iodine with a Q-tip to the puncture spots.  Back on shore, the resort staff pass him over to the Thai massage girls and they go to work on him getting the rest of the spine material out with sewing needles and tweezers.  They had no idea what in the hell they were doing but it wasn’t helping.  Now I’m hardly an expert, but I’ve removed my fair share of splinters/fiberglass and been through this once when my good buddy Drew did the same thing while diving in Vietnam.  I pull Chris away from the girls and we find an empty room and continue the procedure.  Almost an hour later, it’s as good as it’s going to get to so we clean up and disinfect the wound.  Alls well that ends well and 20 minutes later we’re having a brew back at the bar.  I had to give him credit, he was real hard about the whole experience.  The next day, his hand looked much better.
We got to know each other a little bit during the ordeal and got talking about age.  He pegged me for 28.  When I told him 23 he simply exclaimed “No.”  I’ve decided to be a little more candid in some cases when it comes to age.  Not that I’d be dishonest about it, particularly when on course, but when it came up on the last day of an open water course with some students who were all within months of me, the attitude had definitely swayed. 

I hope the festive season is getting along well with everyone.  I’ve actually done a bit of Christmas shopping myself over here.  God only knows when the family will see it though.  Maybe Easter?  Anyway, in case I don’t post again until after, Merry Christmas everyone and enjoy the holiday.
Cheers,

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5 Comments
  1. Scott permalink

    Merry Christmas my friend. Glad to hear all is well.

    • ben permalink

      Hey man, thanks for the cheers. Merry Christmas to you as well.

  2. jenny mook-sang permalink

    Have a very Merry Christmas Ben.
    Tomorrow’s our first day of winter and we’re expecting a balmy minus 4 degrees Celsius. Enjoy!
    jennyms

  3. Sue Dolan permalink

    Merry Christmas Ben. We’ll miss you at the farm on Christmas Day! Enjoy your Christmas in the warm sun and raise a beer to us. We’ll be toasting you and the other absent family members! Sue & Kevin

  4. Drew permalink

    Great story, However, when I mangled myself in Vietnam you did not pass me off to a group of Thai women. Simply a Luke warm beer and a chicken sandwich which lead to days of food poisoning.
    It’s good to hear you are having so much fun over there. I wish I could come and visit again, doesn’t look like it will happen this time around. I’ll send you an email soon bud.

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