mercoledì 26 marzo 2014

Maldivian Life

Hello everyone!

I finally have a day off from work and I've been postponing blogging for way too long already...

It's been almost 3 weeks since i got here and I've definitely started to have a routine now... as you can guess, the dive shop is pretty busy every day, lunch breaks are barely enough to get some lunch and take care of a couple things like laundry etc before having to go back to work, and the evenings wither down to a couple hours free time after dinner and a quick workout at the gym. It's a busy life, but really satisfying; I go to bed exhausted but even though i barely get 6-7 hours sleep, i'm always happy to start a new day. Guests who come diving are generally the more easy-going ones, they're almost always very pleasant and make the days fly by without even noticing it.
The resort itself is high end to say the least... expensive and luxurious like advertised on the website but the whole operation behind the scenes, in the staff area, seems like a big happy family... everyone is always happy, sociable and really fun to be with.
The dive shop is nothing like I've ever seen before: big, organized, functional and just a really nice place to work in. All my colleagues are friendly and always happy to help out with anything, which makes a work day turn almost into a day out diving with friends.

There's really not much else to tell, I've been working since day one and i still haven't had the chance to visit the guest-side of the island yet (apart from the dive area of course). On top of that this seems to be a really busy period of the year so the resort isn't really comfortable with staff personnel walking around taking photos as if they were paying guests. I'll have to wait for things to settle down a little bit before i can explore it properly and take some shots. The staff side is obviously less luxurious, or better, not at all. It's still really pleasant to live in, with almost every commodity anyone could ask for: almost 24h buffet cafeteria, bar, gym, staff beach (with kayaks, windsurfs, etc), soccer-volleyball-basketball-badminton fields, laundromat,  internet cafe, island-wide wi-fi, etc. Surely I won't get bored on my time off.

Speaking of which, I think i'll go enjoy some sun at the beach... i need to even out the tan marks i got from my wetsuit. :-P

giovedì 6 marzo 2014

The missing chapters of 2013

Hello again everyone!

It's been so long since i last posted on the blog... and so much has happened! I'll try to keep it short and linear so not to bore you too much with the details...
I guess you all stopped reading while i was coming back from my internship in Cambodia... that was mid-November if i remember correctly... well, I came back to Italy after that to enjoy a wonderful Christmas and New Year's eve with my family. I was waiting for January to come so i could apply for the science officer position with Shallow Waters, in the meanwhile I was also looking for the best solution to do my IDC (scuba instructor course) so that it would finish in time for me to take a plane to Cambodia and start working at the beginning of June.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned... but we'll get to that.
First, i want to tell you all about a wonderful weekend i spent in the mountains with my dear friend Carlotta. After knowing each other since we were 14 we finally made plans to go to her house in Austria together! It's a cute little apartment in a town called Bad Kleinkircheim, about 2 hours drive away from Udine; it's known very well around northern Italy for it's ski slopes, resorts and thermal water SPAs... and we did it all! We didn't have much time (and money) but we made the best of it! The first day the weather wasn't really the best.. it was raining in the morning and fortunately it got cold enough during the day to make it turn to snow, anyhow, we decided to go for a full day SPA treatment.
The structure was incredible, huge to say the least and filled with every kind of sauna, Turkish bath, pool, salt rooms, outdoor Jacuzzis etc. Every half hour there was a different kind of treatment in  different saunas.. once time with salts, another with lemongrass cream, another with chocolate, chili, wine any so many other things... there were so many we couldn’t try them all, also because the place was pretty packed with people. Anyhow, we had the time of our lives; we came out of there at 6 in the evening after almost 10 hours of relaxation, feeling like baked Needless to say we crumbled in bed that night! SPAs are more tiring that what you would expect! :P
The next day we went on the skiing...I went snowboarding. The last time I got on one had been at least 2 or 3 years ago so it took me the better part of the first hour to get the hang of it again. After countless falls and unimaginable quantities of snow down my back it finally started coming back to me and by lunch time i was back to being a pro! :P The slopes were so long and numerous that we didn't go down the same way twice in the whole day! They were amazing to say the least... sorry to say they're a completely different level compared to what we have in Italy... congrats to the Austrians. I must say, it turned out to be an amazing way to close off 2013! Just the right mixture of fun, relax, sports and friends!
The next couple months were pretty uneventful; we went up to the mountains to my grandparent's house once or twice to say hi to them and my uncles/aunts and cousins before leaving, but apart from that i basically stayed at home and followed the usual routine... workouts, gym, cycling, pool with my sister etc. Started to get boring pretty quickly! :P January and February passed by in the blink of an eye and it was finally time to leave again! Destination: Maldives! (With a stop in London first)
And that's where I’m writing from now, London. I'm at the end of a wonderful week spent here with friends, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to suck in some last civilization before leaving for a deserted island again :P Although i suppose this time it will be a lot less deserted.
However, let's get back to Cambodia and the news I was telling you about at the beginning of the post. Long story short, my place was swooped up by someone much more qualified than me (even overqualified for that position, in my opinion), so i won't be going back to Cambodia after all. Bugger. On top of that, my plan B (a 3 month teaching job in America), failed miserably as well because by the time i wrote to them, they were already fully staffed form this coming summer. Serves me right... double bugger. So plan C... there really isn't a plan C for now... Plan C is finding something, anything in the Maldives or any other job online. At this point id be happy to work as a simple Scuba Instructor in any dive center or resort for the rest of the season or until i find something, anything biology-related. Just to have some sort of income and finally stat to be completely independent. One thing is for sure... i don't want to go back home in 3 months time. I'm sick of living off my family and i need to start my own life. Even if that means doing something completely different from what I studied and from what I want to do in life... at least for a while.
Oh well, I'll sort it out somehow. For now, lets concentrate on doing my course and figuring out how to dry my wet laundry before getting to the airport! XD

Brace yourselves for lots more photos and videos in the photo gallery this time around! Apparently, we'll have good internet on the island so I'll make full use of it! Skype included! I apologize in advance if I disappear from time to time but I’ll be on a working schedule 6 days a week from 7:00 to 18:00 and I have no idea of how busy it will be. Drop a message if you want and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can (Skype ID:  hockey__88)