More photos from the Karoo Wildlife Ranch. Mongoose.
Lemurs keen on escaping. Pictures taken by the Malaysian girls.
A few weeks ago, I won a free scuba diving lesson for myself and a friend, with Tony Lindeque from Learn to Dive. This is not the first thing I’ve won this year, and little did I know it would not be the last. (On Thursday night I learnt that I was one of the runner-ups for the young science writer’s competition. I’ll tell you more about that some other time.)
Now for most of humanity, the choice of who to take along would have been a difficult one. Not for me. The choice was easy. Of all my friends, Fahiema seemed like the person most likely to enjoy an hour of two, wrapped up in latex. Hahaha, I totally kid. I just figured that anyone who voluntarily puts up with my ass for more than a decade DESERVES a present. Plus I figure, come my birthday she’ll probably get me a kick-ass pressie.
Upon arrival at our scuba diving destination, we were greeted by the friendly faces of Tony and his fiancée, Clare. Tony gave us a quick theoretical lesson on scuba diving and then provided us each with a wetsuit and booties. Climbing into a wetsuit is NOT an easy task. It takes a lot of tagging and swearing before you’ve even managed to pull the damn thing over your feet. Thirty minutes later and we were looking like the female versions of Batman and Robin. (I was Batman.)
After presenting our new alter egos to Tony, he helped me put on the tank, weight belt, flippers and mask. He also gently coaxed me into the water before teaching me how to breathe. And that my friends, is as far as MY training went. Turns out I’m claustrophobic as fuck. I’ve always known this. I’ve always known that I have a tendency to freak out when in closed spaces but I had no idea that scuba diving would bring out this phobia.
Tony was very sweet about the whole thing. He kept asking if I was sure about THIS, if I didn’t want to give it another chance. In fact, he recently emailed me to ask if he should bring his scuba diving equipment to my house and I can practise in my pool. But there was no changing my mind. Not then. Right then, all I kept thinking is, “If this guy makes me put my face in water once more, I’m gonna punch him.” What? It’s called the fight or flight instinct. Look it up!
Fahiema however took to it like a frigging fish in water. (Fucking show off! That’s totally the last time I take that skank along.)
Anyway, I’ve given this who scuba diving fiasco a LOT of thought. And I realise that one of the reasons I haven’t written about this before is because I’m ashamed. I’ve modelled myself on being this adventure freak, that doesn’t let something like fear stop her from doing anything and then I unravel at the sight of a mask. Yes, I know, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone gets scared, blah blah blah [insert relevant Oprah words of wisdom here]. I get that but … that’s just how I feel.