TimYang.com ::: The Geek Blog

Thursday August 26

Perhentian #1

This being the month of August, it is Italian month. According to the order in which Europeans tend to take holidays, it is Germans in June, Dutch in July and Italians in August. (The British take holidays throughout all three months.) So there were loads of Italians on Perhentian. There was even a couple I had seen on Pangkor a week earlier. One looked like an Italian army officer (her boyfriend didn't look too bad either).

I'm one of those people who won't take to water. I had an episode of near drowning in my teens on one of those stupid dark nights at someone's party. I also had a near drowning on a childhood fishing trip. And I had also seen Jaws. Yup, Jaws. Five years old. In a darkened cinema. I have never since gotten off a boat in deep water. I can't see myself diving without seeing a pair of sharpened mandibles launching at me at full throttle.

I think I can swim. Last time I checked. But I also have weak lungs. Throw me in the pool and my body will float, but in a useless position two feet from the water surface. Me and water go like ice cream and an unplugged refrigerator.

So for the first time ever, I was quite happy to go into sea. I went snorkling. And on my own too. I walked to the back of the island where Raj had previously shown me a little-used bay with loads of coral and shallow water. I'll admit I didn't go very far, but I was quite fascinated with the experience. It was all thanks to my new mask and snorkle. I could now see what I was missing. Orange fish, silver fish, blue fish, purple fish, black fish, white fish. Heck I even saw Mexican Dancing Fish. Ole!

I was so brave, I even decided to go snorkeling without my swimming trunks. It took me a long time to work up the courage to pull them off. No one comes to that bay in the morning and I was there pretty early. And just when I got them off, RRRRRRRR! a speedboat loaded with passengers with cameras zoomed right across the bay. I pulled my trunks back on and wondered why I was born without brains.

The only real incident occured when I walked out to the deeper water with my sandals on and suddenly the dead piece of coconut leaf I was about to step on swished in front of me. Then a rock moved and flapped its wings. Stingray! The barbed tail could have taken my foot off! I was also disconcerted to find plastic bags floating in the water, only to realise that they were dead jelly fishes. I don't think the live versions come up that close to the shallow water, though.

I hope.

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