Last weekend we went snorkeling off the coast of Pattaya, near Ko Larn. But, the most important things wasn’t sea life and all the other things usually associated with snorkeling. No the most important thing was, that we all made it back save and sound without any accidents and that everyone ha a good time. “Markus, this sounds like Apple Pie and Mother’s Love”, you may say. I would agree with you, but we have had five co-workers with us, all non-swimmers…although intrepid. But it turned out to be absolutely great. Since, I volunteered to get then into the water and snorkeling, I had to lay down a few ground rules. There were actually only three.
- Do as I say and relax.
- If you don’t do as I say and start to panic, I will inflict massive pain on you in order to rescue you.
- Enjoy what you are about to see.
We had thrown out a 50ft rope with a swim-ring tied to one end and the other end tied to the dive boat. Then with their swim vests on, I brought them into the water one by one. We practiced just floating on our back with our arms spread out and looking up into the sky – beautiful already. As they were lying on their back, I had them hold onto the rope, much like Linus holds onto his security blanket.
When everyone was comfortable and had played around with rolling from back to chest and back again, we got the diving masks and snorkels out. This was when the fun really started. I cannot imagine what it must be like to not be able to swim, yet see the underwater world crystal clear below, while breathing through a snorkel. Everyone was very happy and excited. My engineers vowed to take swim lessons in order to rid themselves of the swim-vests and become more mobile underwater.
As if that wasn’t astonishing enough, my guys then wondered whether it was possible to jump with the life vests on into the water. Hey, we are in development, let’s run an experiment and try out. Summary, it works within three attempts one of my guys was jumping off the upper deck of the boat, about 3m off the water surface….not bad for a guy who can’t swim. Of course, I was waiting in the water and had instructed to jump backwards, as top prevent water from directly hitting the face, but he jumped non-the-less.
On our way back, I thanked the army of guardian angels and sea creatures that must have undeniably watched over this little expedition. For me personally, this was a super rewarding experience for obvious reasons.
Because, I had my hands full with my guys and they had to focus on snorkeling and not drowning, there is no photographic evidence. Thus, I will post a few recent impressions of Bangkok.
We were walking through one of the many hidden side Sois in Bangkok and found the girl “manning” a shoe shop – really there sold hand-made flip-flops, that we call in German Schläppls or Schläppsche. As we were perusing her offerings she just sat there reading. As you can clearly see she has got a lot of reading to do while a work.
On the same exploration for hidden geographic gems, we ended up in this family’s backyard, where they had their boat parked.
When we were in Huahin over New Year’s, we walked through the night market downtown. One of the booths had all these brass figures. The image reminded me of the Chinese Terracotta Warriors with all the figure standing around. But upon closer inspection, it became obvious, that these were no warriors and even if they were, some of them appear to be somewhat distracted from a potentially looming battle. Take a closer look and you’ll see what I mean.
When you walk, bike, rollerblade or otherwise propel yourself through Lumphini Park in Bangkok, you will inevitably see Ta-Kraw players. Ta-Kraw is a mix of Volleyball and Football (Soccer). Two players on each team try to score points by kicking the bamboo ball over the net, so that the ball cannot be kicked back by the other team before the ball touches the ground. The rules are very simple, but for spectators its brilliant entertainment, because athletic skill is paired with acrobatics.
And to close this post, my James Bond moment: A n image of looking through the spy-hole in our entry door – very conspirative.
So, this concludes the updates from Bangkok.
I will try to get into a posting rhythm again and keep you updated on our lives here.
Take care and teach how to swim.