Next up: lathering myself up with chum and free diving off the coast of the Bahamas

So, let it be stated here and now that when one goes from working an obscene number of hours each week to NOT, there’s only so much one can do to fill one’s time before one gets batshit crazy with listlessness.  Sure, there were stacks of mail to go through and an expired driver’s license in need of renewal (lest I get pulled over for my erratic, drunk-and-mad-with-glee-over-being-done-with-residency woman-driving and get handed a ticket and a lovely little misdemeanor!1) but that would be SENSIBLE.  And this was no time for sensibleness!!  Sensibleness = Boring!  THIS…this time between residency and starting The Real Job required something more distinguished, more exciting.  Like impromptu dancing in the streets!  So I did that.  But no one followed my lead and it didn’t turn out to be the local, independent Xanadu-reprisal experience I’d hoped it would be.  (And I thought San Francisco would have my back on this one!) So, next best thing:  a vacation!

This brought me to my next dilemma:  where to go!?  I wanted to go on a dive trip, because summer = diving.  So, Australia?  Thailand?  Cozumel?  Maui?  A toughy, because they all offer great diving opportunities and because I regard kangaroos, vagina ping-pong, Mexican fine dining, and getting lei’d all of equal caliber on The Enjoyment Scale.

This, as one of my friends put it, was quite The White Collar Problem.  Kind of like:  Shall I have the Black Sea Caviar or the Maine Lobster Risotto?  Shall I purchase the offensively expensive Louis Vuitton bag or settle for the absurdly priced Versace one?  I’d never had a white collar problem before but it seemed like a pretty good problem to have!  At least the vacation problem, which was a real dilemma.  As for the fictional ones, I’d go with the lobster risotto every time and I’d use the money it would cost to buy a Louis Vuitton bag to erect a small orphanage in a third world country.  And then I’d feed all the orphans lobster risotto.  I’m a foodie AND a giver, what can I say.

Because I had a few weeks at my disposal, I could literally go ANYWHERE.  At this realization, I laughed maniacally, heady with the power of it all.  And then I remembered that The Brit didn’t have any vacation time.  So if I wanted to be nice, I would choose a place that was close enough for him to meet me for the weekend.  Be nice?  Be mean?  Nice?  Mean?  Nice.  Fine, we’ll go to Maui.  Sighhhh.  The burdens of marriage, am I right ladies??

So.  We went to Maui!  I went for five days, and The Brit joined me for three of them.  And it was lovely.  Palm trees always equal happiness to me and there were plenty of them.  Our hotel was small and quaint, setting it apart from the high rises of Kahana or Wailea…and it had a small, private beach on which The Brit and I, starting on opposite ends, could run towards each other with arms outstretched, hair aglow with the light of the setting sun, in slow motion…just like in the movies.  I mean, if we’d WANTED to.  We totally would have had we not been preoccupied with the important business of eating the local pineapple and drinking all the local beer (aloha, coconut porter!) and diving with all the local fishies and turtles.

Which brings me to a couple of points I’d like to make about SCUBA diving.  Firstly, for as long as it is a sport that requires a wetsuit, the act of donning and doffing it will always result in comedy for me and those within ass-reach.  My behind is a well-described phenomenon and, let’s be frank, it just doesn’t obey the conventional laws of size and proportion.  You know how Hallmark has a special Mahogany Line of cards specifically targeted to meet the needs of the African American community?  Well, I think ScubaPro should create a similarly inspired line of wetsuits…to meet the needs of African Americans AND chicas latinas like me who are built like a sista.  Until then, I’ll just have to grease myself up like a pig at a county fair to squeeze myself into wetsuits made for the mere butt-depraved mortal.  It’s a good time.  Bring the fam.  And some popcorn. It could take a while.

Secondly, I’ve discovered that I’m way less of a scaredy cat that I was when I first started diving.  Astute readers and real-life friends will recall a certain perforating of a certain tympanic membrane which resulted a certain degree of anxiety about ever getting back in the water again.  The Brit’s solution to helping me overcome my fear of ear explosions?  Taking me to French Polynesia and throwing me in with the sharks.  Like, I’m not even kidding.  Fucking sharks.  Check it:

The dive master in FP told me that if you want sharks to maintain a distance from you then there were two things you could do:  continue blowing lots of bubbles (because REAL fish don’t blow bubbles and sharks prefer real fish to human ones with self-contained underwater breathing apparatuses (apparati?) for dorsal fins) and refrain from wearing bright colors.  Like yellow fucking flippers.  Sweet.   As far as I was concerned, folding myself up into a C-shape to blow bubbles AT my yellow flippers only served to cancel the benefit of one out with the disadvantage of the other, leaving me vulnerable to a life-threatening shark attack.  I was most certainly going to die. Fuck my ear drums!

Now, admittedly, what we saw in FP were only reef sharks.  Compared to the Tiger or Bull shark, the Reef shark is practically a vegetarian.  He eats like grass and plankton and shit.  And by shit I mean fish that are much smaller than my ass.  (And he probably really doesn’t eat grass or plankton.)  But still.  Fucking shark, nonetheless.

We saw sharks on every single dive we did in French Polynesia.  Every. Single. Dive.  I survived the ordeal with but a few flesh wounds (mostly from being attacked by the inanimate coral which quite rudely, on occasion, got in my way), an intact pair of ear drums, and a sense of pride that only the battle weary possess.  I may have shit my wetsuit2 but I made it out of, like, The Vietnam of shark encounters and lived to tell the story.  Ok, maybe it wasn’t Vietnam, but it was at least The Gulf Conflict.

So, when we were in Maui and we came across this little 3 foot long fella:

Other divers were like:  OMG, it’s a fucking shark!  I knew this, even underwater, because they were putting their hand up to their forehead to simulate a shark fin while opening their eyeballs really wide in abject fear; universal underwater sign for “OMG, it’s a fucking shark!”   While they were all busy soiling themselves, I was like:  Pssh!  Pfft!  Whatevs.  You don’t even KNOW what I’ve lived through.

1.Did you know it’s a misdemeanor to drive with an expired license?  I was recently quite surprised to find that mine expired in 09.  OH NINE.  WTF?
2. Ok, so I didn’t shit in it.  But I did pee in it.


3 Responses to “Next up: lathering myself up with chum and free diving off the coast of the Bahamas”

  1. 1 Brown July 31, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Well, two absolute truths are illustrated here…1) You definitely “CAN’T COVER THAT SHIT, GIRL!” and 2) There is no business in marketing wet suits to white girls with ghetto booties because EVERYONE KNOWS that black people don’t like the ocean. Especially, diving in it among sharks. Glad you enjoyed your much deserved vacation.

  2. 2 lacubanagringa August 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Brown – 1) I can, but I’m not QUITE at the age where wearing a moo-moo is either socially- or husband-acceptable. 2) You raise a valid point. 🙂

  1. 1 I take that back, the last line was the one for the bathroom & trust me when I say there was AT LEAST a liter in there. « No Method, Just Madness Trackback on August 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm

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The madness featured here is mine and mine alone. It does not, in any way, reflect the madness of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family, or my colorful friends. The privacy of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family and colorful friends is sacred & deeply respected, so no names. All words Copyright © la cubana gringa, no method, just madness 2006-2010. All comments © their authors. Don't steal; it's not nice. (And my Grandfather knows people.)

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