Monday, November 29, 2010
Dahab - Diving, Electronica music and Pillows
I first read about Dahab through travel blogs - it's smaller than Sharm el Sheikh, famous for diving - sort of a traveller's mecca. I have been interested in coming here for years. Coral reefs surround the town on the red sea, and every restaurant on the water has pillows where you sit on the ground with low tables. There are no sandy beaches, but in its own way, it's paradise!
Crazy fabrics are also for sale, everywhere. I have a fantasy of decorating my entire apartment with Dahab fabrics. In reality, it will probably end up in my closet. But anyhow, this is where I am going to pull all the stops out on the salespeople and unleash buyer Sara. The salespeople here are all kind of annoying. Hello friend! Where you from? Because you are the first customer of the day, I give you special price! But I think at the end of the trip I can buy some cool stuff here and ship it home if I offer them a price for bulk. The more annoying they are, the more annoying I will be within the boundaries of still being polite. Everyone wins in the end with a sale. This is what I do for a living. How cool is this?! I love it! I could look at this all day long.
Remember when I told you how I laid on some pillows at Sawa beach all day and got devoured by mosquitos? Well, they really itch. We have ourselves a little situation:
Sorry for the gross picture. But this is my reality. I talked to a pharmacist, where I picked up some of this:
It stopped itching and is clearing up nicely.
Dahab is small. When you walk a few blocks, you just come up to desert:
Here is my balcony at Penguin Village, for only $22 per night. The shower is right next to the toilet, so when I shower, I am cleaning the entire bathroom along with myself. But whatever!!
View from my balcony of the Penguin restaurant, red sea and Saudi Arabia in the distance:
I came here to conquer a fear. I have never been diving before. I am not afraid of TOO many things, but the thought of breathing underwater terrifies me. I am pretty claustrophobic and really, really don't want to drown. I signed up for an introductory dive and went today. They remembered me from inquiring yesterday, and greeted me by saying "are you ready to drown?" which I actually thought was hillarious. I will not lie, It was every bit as terrifying as I pictured, perhaps more so. I had a really nice teacher, Abraham. He literally had to hold my hand every second. But I did it (didn't go TOO deep) and it was FUN!! Many people come here to get their PADI certification. It's tempting, but I don't think I'm there yet. Because I have 4-5 days, I am just doing my own version of an open water course. Beginning dive today, tomorrow practice snorkeling deeper to get used to breathing and reduce the anxiety of the ocean, day after tomorrow another dive with Abraham. I worked out a deal with a dive shop for reduced rates for three days of stuff. We dived around a coral reef not far from shore, and I saw neon fish, a few big fish. It is so peaceful under there. The thought of my mask filling with water and not being able to see or accidentally having the regulator slip out of my mouth is so scary to think about. There are things you can do in every situation, and I have to not think too much and just not be a spaz. I kind of can't wait to do it again! I'm making friends with the ocean bit by bit.