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Popeye the Sailor

January 26, 2010

Bleagh, so I’ve finally gotten sick.  I figure I was about due after nearly 3 months, but it’s not so bad.  Yesterday I had a bad cough which scared me because if I had a lung infection of some sort, my diving here would be over in a hurry.  It’s much better now after some strepsils, loads of ginger tea and 11 hours of sleep last night.  Throat is still scratchy as hell.  It’s definitely from working too much and sleeping too little.  Time to rein it in a little bit.  Lately I’ll finish a course in the morning and then start a new one in the afternoon – thankfully it’s a small shop with small classes so it’s not as if I’m herding a “Bans Parade” of 8 students while each of them bounce off each other or the coral or both.  I graduate my current students tomorrow so long as everything goes according to plan, I pick up a Rescue course the same day and then I take a break.  I actually caught myself saying “I worked really hard today” as I walked home the other day.  That threw me through a loop – Sure most instructors bust their hump over this, particularly popular ones on Ko Tao, but I couldn’t remember actually uttering those words in god knows how long.  It felt good to subconsciously validate my existence here on the island.  It’s great that I’m busy, I may actually have somewhat of a surplus by the end of the month.  Well, that would be true if I didn’t have to sink 5000 baht to go on a visa run.  In 3 days I leave for Laos.  But the extra work is great because I may have upcoming plans that take me away from Thailand.  I’ll keep you posted on that one.  Once I get paid I’m sending a package home.  Matt, there’s a T-shirt in there you’ll laugh over every time you put it on.  You’ll see.  Whatever is beyond reason to mail home and can’t be bothered to pack will be hocked, I expect.  I’d need a sherpa to get outta here right now.

Speaking of which, a dutch instructor, 5 years established on the island left a day or two ago with his girlfriend to take on India.  I was at the house on his last night and it was quite literally ‘no reasonable offer refused’.  The place was a mess.  Reminded me a little bit of 28 Days Later when the apocalypse is imminent and it’s  more so ‘everyone get the hell out, never mind the bloody boiling kettle’.  Was a good night, despite my looming sickness and yes, I’ve connected the dots, thanks.  The same instructor whose party is was comes with a few irresponsible stories, himself.  There’s a dog named ‘Popeye’ who lives at the shop.  Unbeknownst to most, Popeye has motor bike driving experience.  I’ve seen him, among other dogs in other circumstances, standing at the helm with paws on the handle bars.  Anyway, this instructor has taken more than one spill on account of Popeye’s skippering.  Simply madness.  One story goes, the instructor was involved in a legitimate accident in the ravine below his house.  Came in either too fast or too drunk or both and tumbled into the bushes, breaking his collar bone.  Wailing for help and fighting the mosquitoes he was decidedly in rough shape.  His roommate could actually hear the cries coming from below, but he assumed it was simply the wails of a drunkard and ignored them.  His girlfriend found him a staggering 9 hours later when she arrived home herself.  If Popeye was involved, he must have got out of there in a hurry before blame could be assessed.  Watch out, India, this guy and Ko Tao have dished each other so much abuse I don’t think there’s any stopping him.  I’m interested to see whether I’ll ever meet him again.

I need to figure out how to start earning commission or free meals or something at the restaurants I bring my students to.  My breakfast place had 7 extra customers in it one morning because of my praise and recommendation.  Apparently there are some places that already have such incentives, but I haven’t gotten around to such investigations.  The thing is I’m getting real tired of hunting down new places all the time and looking at menus.  Menus, menus, menus all the freaking time and it’s all the same!  My main dinner spot, I make eye contact with the Matron of the establishment and she’s reaching for the fruit bowl to start my banana shake.  It’s important to have some simplicity and consistency in a place like Ko Tao.  Might as well be food.  I’ll never forget my twice-a-day grilled chicken wrap for 8 months straight during first year.  You needed some consistency then, as well.


Time now for some rescue prep and then bed to kill off this sickness.  Cheers

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3 Comments
  1. jenny mook-sang permalink

    gorgeous photos ben.

  2. Wendy Vlasic permalink

    Be well soon!

  3. ….menus, menus, menus. Sounds familiar 🙂

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