What I was thinking of when learning to dive: Singapore Saturday [#NaBloPoMo Day 07]

In the month of November, I’m blogging for 30 days straight as part of #NaBloPoMo. Check out the archives.]

What’s a word that starts with S that I can pair up with Saturday? I couldn’t think of a good one so I assigned my Saturday blog posts as Singapore Saturday.

I’ve been in Singapore for 10 years. I came over in 2005 for university. I know it’s pretty impossible for me to go back to Sabah because:

  1. I don’t want to.
  2. There are no good jobs there.
  3. The economy sucks in Malaysia.

For Singapore Saturday, I plan to write about anything related to Singapore that’s related to me (whether or not I will follow through is another issue). I won’t talk about politics because I do not care about that topic. (Plus I can’t vote, obvs.)

I’m not going to write “Seeing Singapore with Foreign Eyes”-type of posts because while I don’t see myself as Singaporean, I don’t constantly walk around thinking how I am not Singaporean. I just walk around being me.

So I guess Singapore Saturday will just be about me doing stuff in Singapore. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Turns out everything that happens in Singapore can be lumped under this day. Hurray! This post is a day late.

Photo credits: My sister who does dive.

Thoughts that went through my head while learning to dive

Learning to dive in Singapore S.E.A. Aquarium

I started learning diving this week (3 Nov!). The S.E.A. Aquarium is actually a scuba diving training center and can issue PADI Open Water Certification.

I’ll have a full post about the experience after I write about it for work. I think I need to keep that part exclusive for work. Also, my bosses would strangle me if I submit this piece.

So, you get a fun post that takes a look into my weird brain.

Things to note:

  1. I’ve never felt the need to learn diving
  2. I almost drowned in Boracay two years ago. (Dear Zeus, it was exactly this period two years ago when I went to Boracay. The universe is weird.)
  3. I would regret not taking the course so I did it despite #1, #2.

Stages of learning to dive and the thoughts that come with it

diving from boat

Beginning stage of going underwater

  • Telling the instructor, “I guess this is not a good time to tell you that I almost drowned.” Instructor, “No, it is not.”

Underwater in shallow area

  • Submerging underwater for the first time: “I CANNOT put my face in the water. OMG! I am drowning! Oh, I can still breathe through my mouth.”
  • Underwater in shallow area: “Breeeeeathe. Breeeeeathe. Breeeeeathe.”

Underwater in deep area

  • “Why are all these subconscious thoughts running through my head now! I can’t focus on breathing.”
  • “Oh shit, I never knew this is thing is so important to me that it’s the first thought that came to my head when I thought I was going to die.”
  • *Writing mental to-do list of Things To Do Before I Die*
  • “Hey, I can breathe by breathing out only and the air would rush into my mouth.” DO NOT DO THIS, IT IS DANGEROUS. YOU NEED TO INHALE.
  • “This isn’t too bad. I think I can do this.”

Underwater in Open Water

The Open Water dive is diving in the sea, or in the S.E.A. Aquarium’s case in the Open Ocean Habitat (the really big display–I cannot say the “t” word).

In a moment of stupidity, before the dive, I decided to skip going to the toilet because taking off the wet suit was a hassle. I would regret this big time.

  • #1: “OMG, THIS IS DEEP. I cannot swim up fast if I want to.”
  • #2: *PANIC MODE* “Calm down. Breathe. Breathe.”
  • #3: “This kneeling position is super uncomfortable.”
  • #4: *While others are doing their tests* “This is super boring. BOOOOORING.”
  • #5: “Hey, I wonder what would happen if I stop breathing.” (At this point, the other voice in my head had to jump out and scream, “DON’T YOU DARE DO THAT!”)
  • #6: “Oh no, I think I need to pee.”
  • #7: “Dear body, I give you permission to pee in the water. No one will know.” Unfortunately, the more I was mentally with ok with this, the more my body refused to do it.
  • #8: “Oh no, now it’s my turn to do the test. This is easy. Hmm… Wait, I need to pee. CANNOT CONCENTRATE.” (Took me many many many waits before I finally completed the test.)

We ended our full-day dive in the early evening which gave me time to rest. Phew! There’ll be a few more lessons before I pass everything and be certified.

Lessons learning to dive

  1. Even if you have experienced near-drowning, you should try to dive. (Refer to #NaBloPoMot #2: Stop arguing for your limitations.)
  2. Empty your bladder before SCUBA diving.
  3. Learn to pee in a wet suit.

dont panic carry towel

nablopomo 2015

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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