Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How I Learned to Dive

Spent the last week in the tropical paradise of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Now, some prudent readers might think to themselves "What in the hell is the whitest girl alive doing so close to the Equator? Especially one who is petrified of both birds and fish?" Turns out I love free things more than I'm scared of birds and fish (the former poops in the sky, and the latter is slimy. both are insanely foul smelling.) and a vacation is lovely even if you find yourself with the people you occasionally need a vacation from.

***Here I should just mention that my family is great and I love them so so much***

The resort was nice enough, but the beach was AMAZING. White sand with huts built from palm fronds, not to mention the trees themselves.

The airport had a thatched roof (what!?) and when you entered the country you had to give the man $10 (....) as well as get your picture taken with Chiquita Banana. They then try to sell you the picture of yourself looking bewildered and dragging a suitcase behind a woman with wax fruit on her head. Also, bought some art for $40. The guy's original offer was $123. I feel like even at $40 I probably still got ripped off. The artist himself was passed out face down in the sand while chickens stepped gingerly over his body and nibbled sand around his feet.

Aside from being stupid beautiful and treacherously hot, Punta Cana gave me something beyond amazing: my scuba diving license (PADI what what!). We went for our first dive on Thursday and I fell in love, in spite of some mild food poisoning, the fact that I could not carry my own equipment, and that the fifty-year old, sinewy dive instructor wore a tiny black Speedo 100% of the time he was on land.

Howev, I would marry Frank if he would have me. After the first dive (7 meters), I was doneskies. THE OCEAN IS SO COOL!! The second dive (12 meters) was the following day (after watching Frank get stung by a sting ray the size of a saucer) and I was in heaven. We dove around a 1950's shipwreck and Frank grabbed my hand and pulled my inside the ship and enormous schools of silvery, iridescent fish swam inches from my face. Breathtaking. Bro-ski and I are meeting up with Frank in Florida in December and getting Open Water certified. I wanna see sharks and whales, Frank says he'd take me even if I wasn't. That's true love.

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