Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Return to Paradise?

After walking back to Ban’s I tried to sleep on an outdoor couch for a couple hours until the island woke up. It’s amazing how a little peek at another world can totally change your perspective on the one you are in. I suppose it was inevitable coming off the high of such a successful visa run, but coming back turned into a huge let down for me. I was promised a room again when I got back. That turned into a “you have 1 week and then we kick you out so start looking elsewhere and while you are at it, start freelancing everywhere if you want a job”. Lovely. So at the high season, they kick me out to make room for “customers” and everyone else is also full or has already sold their long-term deals to others. With a little help I made up a CV and spent a day dropping it off at other dive shops, only to find out that most of them hate Ban’s and anything coming out of their system, not to mention that there are about 1 million freelance instructors and DM’s looking for work here that outrank me both in terms of experience and social connections. I think I’ve just been cold-heartedly processed by the Koh Tao business machine and thrown to the wolves....
I can still get free dives with Ban’s if I lead fun divers but if you do it for free you’ll never get paid and if you hold out and hope to get paid you’ll never get to dive. I can hear that bus to anywhere starting to call me….. Others say that busy season is coming and we’ll get something, but the weather has completely deteriorated right on top of the first rush so nobody is diving like they should be and even I don’t want to go out there…. Am I allowed to complain that my life is rough because I can’t play volleyball right now?
I did find a place to stay but it is not as nice and a little more expensive, grrr... I was very close to going full hobo though. I think there are a few Burmese employees on the island living that way. There are enough couches outdoor to pull it off
It’s funny but I seem to have developed a reputation amongst my friends here as the guy that has crazy travel stories, plays a lot of volleyball and eats all the time. Yes, you read that right, eats. I must’ve picked up something somewhere because I’m always starving. The more I eat, the hungrier I get. I eat 5 or even 6 times a day! When I’m not diving I can be found in the same place in the same restaurant stuffing my face. I wake up starving and by 7am when the restaurants open I’m convinced I’ll die if they don’t bring the food out in record time. Is it doing any good? I don’t know but I must’ve gained a pound somewhere….
As for my future plans, I don’t know. I just got my DM number processed by PADI so I can start looking online at diving jobs around the world. It’s not that expensive here really even without work but after getting a few calls about freelancing, it's obvious that I am not going to get much work at all unless I have my own equipment so the time has come to make a serious decision about how serious I am with this sport. If I buy the gear, I may as well do the instructor course too..... Oh boy, I can see myself totally getting sucked into this place deeper and deeper. The only other option might be just to run now and do something else. Stress..... I'm stalling at the moment and hoping something sorts itself out one way or another to give me a little direction.


At 3:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ammon,
Ever consider you may have picked up a parasite on the voyage, that is eating you out of food? Y'know tape worm type thing? I think you should run, run while you can.

Big Hugs
The Bear

At 8:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just about to say the same thing, parasites maybe... That was the first thing that came to my mind while reading this:)

Take care,

At 5:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not combine your science smarts and your diving and see if you can get on with a Cousteau-esque company that does documentaries and research?
With Discovery channel, there seem to be a million of them out there.
Hey, combined with your flare for writing and photos, you'd be a shoe in.


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