So you want to Scuba Dive?

open water, padi, scuba

Open Water Dive

I’ve kinda never really thought about it, until some really awesome videos hit my Facebook feed. After that, it was constantly at the back of my mind until ADEX (Asia Dive Expo) rolled around and I saw SimplyScuba’s PADI Open Water Dive Package retailing at $370+. Yea… before I knew it, I had a registration sheet on hand and the rest was history.

The knowledge development (theory lessons) and confined water (pool session) were done with Simply Scuba, but because I ended up doing my actual dives in Singapore (Pulau Hantu), they attached me to Marlin Divers. Don’t get me wrong, Simply Scuba was nice … but Marlin Divers were fantastic and professional.

It hasn’t been exactly easy – but for sure, most of it is psychological. Some tips that I would have found REALLY helpful:

  1. You know how instructors say think about what you got to do (especially during the dives)? Well here’s a little bit more. After you’ve visualized what you need to do, STOP thinking about it. Next, focus on your breathing. In, out, in, out. As long as you’re breathing, things will be fine. Then just take your mask off or regulator out (or whatever you need to do). I thank my yoga classes for this. Despite everything, I just kept breathing!
  2. When it comes to full mask removal underwater, what happens to most divers is that the bubbles emerging from their regulator sends water up their nose. A good way to avoid this is to tilt your head slightly while removing your mask.
  3. A few times during one dive I almost wanted to give up because I had so much trouble equalizing my ears (probably because of the evil alcohol from the night before!). Again, just stay calm and ascend a few meters – and try to equalize again. My dive group ended up having to wait for me for a bit – but I was glad that I didn’t give up in the end.
  4. In your logbook, record the weights, wetsuit type, and cylinder type you used as well as in what conditions (salt or freshwater). It will come in handy for future dives.
  5. Did I mention, stay calm? Cos yeah, Keep Calm and Scuba On.

Last but not least – remember, if you gotta go, you gotta go (try to do it somewhat discreetly and not announce it to the whole world, though…).

And that’s one more off the bucket list, folks!

Pulau Hantu

Pulau Hantu


2015 Mid Year Lookback

June. Middle of the year (almost, more or less, give or take a couple of weeks). Best time for a review or reflection on how my life has been going in the past half-year because what good are goals or resolutions or bucket lists if you don’t constantly work at them, right? So here goes. (This is kind of the first time I’m actually concretely putting it down in writing. Hoping that yes, it makes me slightly more accountable for what I’ve done and pick up the slack on what I haven’t.

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Since I made this resolution, I’ve been to: Bangkok, Phuket, Siem Reap, Penang. Hong Kong is also planned in about a weeks’ time.

Putting this list on hold, because I would like to get my PADI open water cert before I resume travels – would like to dive in so many parts of SE Asia that it seems to be a waste to go without.

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This time last year, I knew a lot of people. I met a bunch of new people each weekend. Part of my getting over my ex and getting my social life going phase. Which was all good and fun (and diverse), but I’ve fallen into that trap before and I didn’t want to again. So I cut out the people that I knew I was humouring (and were just not good for me), and I daresay the people I keep close to me now are those who would lend me a couple k’s to tide me over (if I should ever need it) or help me bury dead bodies (hopefully I won’t ever need this).

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Nowhere near completion 😦 😦 😦 Need to look at this and schedule in daily writing time, otherwise this will never get completed. I’ve been pretty bad about doing this.

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  • Teacher’s license – attained.
  • Fall in love again – attained. 🙂 And what a beautiful surprise it was.
  • PADI license – will be attained by end of this month.
  • Be fluent in another language besides English and Mandarin – so far, the french course is going great and I’m really enjoying it 😀

So where to next? In the next couple of months, I guess a few things I want to make sure I get done:

  • Cliff Jumping
  • Diving more with my diver’s license to prep for Advanced (needed to do some other dives that I want to do)
  • Kiss someone I love in the snow (totally doable!)
  • Get fitter (kinda required before tackling Mt Kinabalu or a few other items off my bucket list. I suppose stair climbing sessions are in order…)

All in all, I’m glad with how things are going. I guess my biggest setback was having to redo my practicum (and thus dragging out my bond period start), but this was offset by the fact that it made me appreciate my boyfriend and family more because he was there to support me when I needed it and cheer me on. At the same time, I’m happy that I cut out a lot of people who have not contributed to my life, because I’ve finally had the time to work on what’s important to me. So this has been a transitional period and I’m glad that I’ve still managed to get important things done in that time. So… all’s on track and can’t wait to see what else comes my way! 😉

To love true.

Love does not need to be perfect

Love does not need to be perfect It just needs to be true.

In the night, my back to yours. You lift your arm and spread it across me, and it is a comfort. We find each other in the mountain of blankets, in the middle of your king bed. Through heartbreak, through hardships, you have held me close in the dark when I couldn’t see what would be coming next.

Love is a choice. A choice to make yourself vulnerable. I disagree when people say it is a sacrifice. In my opinion, true love doesn’t demand. It is something that grows from within, something small that takes root and encompasses all your other actions. An action that might have been a sacrifice once no longer is, when done in an act of love.

I give up on flashy love in favour for the quieter understated love that drives a man to move his king sized bed just in case the crumbly ceiling gives way and falls on his partner. It’s not a love that movies are written about – although the Theory of Everything does come close – but it is a more real love, it is a more genuine love than big declarations of love with no substance to back it up.

It’s not a super-exciting love, but it is something real, something solid that I can count on. It doesn’t keep count of wrongs, it grows as we make mistakes. You’re patient when I do stupid things, we laugh at each other and the only thing we really compete at is Sunny Seeds. Because love is a choice to live each tedious moment out, to hold your partner’s hand out of habit, to kiss for hours in the morning despite morning breath.

You have loved me beyond what I dreamt of, and I have loved you as my man. Happy Valentine’s Day, and here’s to happiness for us both.

At last I see the light

I’m 3 quarters way through my practicum. Just 18 more days left, less if my CTs take over their classes for the last week. I’m stoked and just want this to be over. I love what I do – but honestly, the stress of having people constantly watch my lessons and behavior all the time is almost more than I can bear. I guess this is the cross that Type A personalities have to bear – even though I know this is part and parcel of the learning process, I am altogether too stressed to submit half assed lesson plans or do shoddy work, and am rather upset and stressed when I do so. Cue 4 hours of sleep per night, which makes for an irritable person. I’m thankful for the amount of support my CTs, family and Ju has provided to be honest.

Batam Cable Ski Park

Batam Cable Ski Park – Julien managed to complete several circuits! So proud of him 🙂

I had a particularly restful weekend. Mostly owing to the fact that I was sick as a dog and really needed to catch up on the rest after the two observations on Thursday and Friday. I’m not sure why teaching Science is being particularly tough on me this round – I normally love teaching Science!

Anyway, for my weekend I accompanied Ju to Batam. He booked a full day cable skiing package at Batam Cable Ski Park (Waterfront City), which went for S$108 (inclusive of ferry tickets from Harbourfront Ferry Terminal to Sekupang Ferry Terminal). I brought along my work and completed it in the midst of having short naps in the sun.

We also ended up attending Ju’s friend’s housewarming and sleeping over at his friend’s place. It was rather spartan but to be honest (and as cheesy as it sounds), it was still heavenly to be able to fall asleep next to J and feel his arms around me. Irregardless of the fact that there was no air conditioning and we were pretty much sleeping on the floor. I was dead tired after my sun exposure though, and there were instances where I was literally falling asleep on my feet. Sometimes I think I really must suffer from narcolepsy.

Also, when we got back to Singapore and were talking in bed, I got invited to spend Christmas in France! I can’t wait 🙂 This really provides incentive to sign up for those Alliance Francais Conversational French lessons after my practicum is over as well. One more thing to look forward to. This weekend was one of those instances when I felt really blessed to be loved by J. There were a few moments I was annoyed, but I realized there was no point – I would have just been weirdly high maintenance. I really want us to work out. It makes a lot of difference from my past relationships, strangely. I’m learning when to take and when to compromise a lot more nowadays than in the past.

To get to Batam from Singapore, you may go to Harbourfront Ferry Terminal (closest MRT station: Harbourfront Station) and look for a ferry.

Batam Center station is the ferry terminal closest to Batam city, Sekupang is the ferry terminal closest to Waterfront city (for water sports), Nongsapura is the ferry terminal close to beach resorts and golf courses and Harbour Bay is located in the central business and commercial district.

Here are some ferry timings for your perusal – Batamfast Ferry Company | Sindo Ferry Company

Lest I forget

It’s been the end of a long week. Already, it’s the end of Week 3 of my practicum and things are going well. I’m loving the school I’m in and my colleagues have been absolutely lovely. It’s really true what they say – find someone to pay you (even though I’m unpaid) to do something you love, and you will never work a day in your life. It’s also astounding what a big difference staff culture and good colleagues can make to your working life. People say you ought to be professional and yes, you can work anywhere and show good work ethic – but honestly, working in an environment where your colleagues are out to tear you down and hog their resources is not conducive to a healthy state of mind.

Unfortunately, I’ve been down to 4 – 5 hours of sleep. After a normal school day I’m tired, but I still work on to 5 p.m. in the office anyway, before heading home. I’ll grab a shower and continue working. It’s not the most efficient but I’m hoping it’s enough to sustain me for the next few weeks.

So why am I writing this post? Just well, it’s been a really long week for me. So now I kinda want to crash in bed. But today is normally stayover night, and I’m stuck waiting on him to get back home before I can follow. Which kind of sucks. I just fell asleep (twice!) in Starbucks.

So I was whining inside to myself – but then I felt kinda ashamed afterwards. How many times before this had he waited on me to come home when I was out partying with my friends while he was comfortably tucked in bed? Instead of falling asleep, he waited till I got to his place at 2 a.m. a few times. So I guess I can exert my patience here.

I am learning, too.