The story starts where all the good ones do…with tequila, more specifically, too much of it. The night before we had been having a send off for a particularly beloved Instructor on Koh Tao where I was doing my Divemaster training, naturally this involved drinking more than usual as a sign of respect. The next morning I was due to travel to Bangkok to meet my family who were coming to visit my island paradise. I awoke at 7am feeling a bit dusty as you might imagine, I didn’t have to be at the ferry terminal until 8:30 for the 9 o’clock departure so I rolled over and hit snooze and here began one of those adventures that was hellish at the time but makes for a good story on reflection.
Your own gear is a wonderful luxury and the right kit can completely change your diving experience. Dragging on stiff suits and peering through a foggy mask can add stress and unnecessary angst to what should be an awesome experience. On the flipside, buying everything you need is a big investment and it can be hard to know what to buy, when to buy it and where to get it. This series of posts should answer some of those questions and cover off the basics of investing in your own gear.
Hurghada really is the arse end of bum fuck no-where. We spent two nights there either side of our Red Sea liveaboard with Emperor Divers. It’s a strange place full of construction sites giving off an abandoned ‘post-coup’ vibe and souvenir shops that all display signs declaiming ‘No Russians’ (apparently they’re big fans of holidaying here). The heat in July/August is truly oppressive, being outside for any amount of time is draining and there is very little reason to leave your hotel, I would advise you stay in the pool and the cool for your own sanity. We stayed at the Green Resort Apartments which were completely unknown to every taxi driver we spoke to, so be sure to take a map with your hotel on it if you go.
When I moved to London I was met with a new and unfamiliar greeting known as the ‘Air Kiss’. This is where you press your cheek to someone else’s, making an indistinct kiss noise near their ear before doing it again to their other cheek. For us Kiwis it can feel like quite an intimate way to say hello, but in reality the feeling you get is one of polite distance. When you meet a Swedish person they will say Hej (Hey) and then hug you, there’s not one vaguely awkward air kiss to be seen, just a lovely cuddle. For me that greeting perfectly encapsulates how I felt the entire weekend I was in Gothenburg.