I tried to overcome my fear of deep water by learning scuba diving for a trip to Malaysia. I had to take a four day workshop in Hong Kong in order to get licensed. It was very humbling, 3 of my 4 classmates were under the age of 11. For example while I almost failed my swimming test, the 11 year old girl in the lane next to me swam butterfly stroke.
By the time I finally got under the ocean in Malaysia, I had mentally said all my goodbyes. I tried to remember that I just had to breathe through my mouth, and I shouldn't worry because I didn't have any life insurance on me so no one was going to be turning off my oxygen (haha. actually apparently some horrible guy killed his wife underwater by turning off her oxygen tank. on their honeymoon. for her life insurance. o.o)
Supposedly going underwater was going to feel 'calm' and peaceful, something "automatic" and nirvana-like would happen. It didn't.
I gamely held on to my guide's four-fingered hand (he was missing his left thumb, probably because he had some compulsion to touch everything that was underwater, including giant clams and eels with teeth. We saw a shark and he was racing to get to it, dragging me with him.)
I thought of mermaids, and Ariel and Sebastian, I sang Under the Sea in my head - well the parts I remembered, which was just that line, 'under the sea, under the sea', and tried not to imagine octopus Ursula appearing behind me, for some reason I remembered the part of her song 'And don't underestimate the importance of booooddyyy language! Hah!'. Repeated in my head about 20 times, it became a bit annoying, even to myself.
The rest of Malaysia trip was pretty amazing, kayaked, mountain biked, fished (for them big fish). It was the first time I'd felt remotely sporty in my life.
The possibility that I could replace that Survivorman on the Discovery channel became that much closer. No crew, no cameras, just HIM, battling to survive in the toughest places on earth. (I don't understand how they do that anyway... they have a camera shot of him setting up his camera... it's confusing. Maybe he has more than one camera? He's filming himself filming himself filming himself?)
Whenever I needed anything in New York, my working method was to pick a direction, and if I walked far enough I would eventually find what i needed. Whether it was a hammer, rope (for hanging curtains - the sales person did ask me what the use was for, apparently it was a 'liability thing), a portable map of the world, gum... The method doesn't really work in Hong Kong, a search for Post-its lead to streets with stores that sell only wheelchairs, then a street of stores for crutches, a street of clothes for pregnant women, sports gear, wigs, lights (Actually the street of lights I see everyday, and it's beautiful. A small block of shops and each shop is blazing with light from the inside - the lights bounce and reflect from their own reflections, multiplied glass chandeliers and lamps.)
I've been trying to prep myself for law school, we have summer reading assignments that are supposed to be relatively light and helpful. I usually read them during the day but inevitably after a few chapters I'm not sure if I'm asleep or awake. One is an advice book that the author writes to a fake law student named Sam(the disclaimer that Sam isn't real is on the first page. I guess he wanted to save me from feeling HORRIBLY cheated.)
But anyway his advice included "put down a boring book immediately! If you find yourself bored by your text, put it down...2 pages of filler explanation later...it could be the author's fault in not engaging you, the reader, in the material."
things to be thankful for: tea with lemon, the sound of a dial on a diver's watch, sugar syrup, olives, lee byunghun's eyes in GI Joe, vermouth, the tram.