Now that I'm all settled into our new place and can pretend that I have fallen into some sort of routine, I can tell you what a typical day on Koh Tao is like for me.

This morning was the first morning that I woke up not sweating, thanks to the miracle of a/c. Last night I had initially set it to 26 degrees celsius but when that was too frigid I tried 27 instead. Perfect. Even going to the bathroom and then walking back into my room felt like walking into a nice igloo. Then I did the conversion and realized that 27 celsius is still 80 fahrenheit. Yes, it's so hot here that 80 feels wonderfully cool.

Breakfast. Now that we have a kitchen I actually got to go grocery shopping the other day, only to realize that I have no idea what to do with all these funky Thai ingredients. Lots of vegetables, but not the variety you would want to throw together as a salad. Lots of sauce and curry mixes, but none with English instructions. I finally found a box of instant risotto with English directions, only to realize it cost about twice the price of what I could go to a restaurant and eat an actual meal for. Oh well, it went in the basket along with eggs, mushrooms, gruyere, yogurt, granola, and canned tuna. So for 1000 baht, my meal options are yogurt and granola, scrambled eggs with cheese and mushrooms, or a tuna sandwich. Not quite sure if that was worth 1000 baht when I can buy a fully cooked meal at a restaurant for under 100, but oh well, it was nice to sit down and have some yogurt and granola this morning in the comfort of my own kitchen. I'll figure out the grocery shopping thing eventually, you know, take a Thai cooking class or something. Is that being hopeful? Probably.

I never know what I'm going to be doing for work until the night before. Lately Dive Shop X has been the only one calling me, and that's just fine by me, so long as they keep me busy enough to pass the time. So they let me know last night that I would be doing a refresher and a "Try Pool" today. I had an Italian father and daughter doing the refresher, which went just fine, they were both naturals in the water. "Try Pool" it turned out was me sitting at the pool all afternoon with a bunch of gear, offering people to get in and try it out. 500 baht for sitting there all afternoon, and an additional 100 for every person who I actually managed to coax in. If anyone signed up for classes, I would get to teach those. What a nice bit of cash for working on my tan lines.

Before this "Try Pool" business took place I went over to the cantina for lunch. I discovered the cantina the other day when Shawna mentioned a place to go get free food, and I in turn one hungry afternoon asked one of my coworkers where this so called "cantina" was. She gave me a slightly disgusted look and told me I didn't want to eat there, did I? Curiosity peaked, I assured her that I did and she told me to follow one of the Thai boys who would surely be going soon. So I followed one of the Thai boys (I feel so bad, I'm already terrible with names, but add to that the fact that I'm not even familiar with Thai names) down one of the resort pathways to the outskirts of the resort, through a bamboo gate, away from the resort, along some jungle pathway, past some gardens, and to an open building lined with communal tables, one of which was lined with huge vats of food, enough to feed the entire resort. It was all the Thai and Burmese locals who worked at the resort eating here, no white people to speak of. I went to the far end of the room where there was a pile of dishes, grabbed myself a plate, and learned that everyone is supposed to bring their own personal spoon. I had missed this memo and wondered for an uncomfortable moment if I would have to eat with my hands like that one time in India. Luckily the lady running the kitchen let me borrow her personal spoon. So I slopped up some rice and cabbage stew and something spicy that everyone warned me not to eat (who do you think I am, some white girl who can't handle spice? Oh wait...) and sat down and had a meal with the locals. Today then was my second experience with the cantina, much like the first, and I must say I rather like it. It's not the best food on the planet, but it's a taste of the local culture. Everyone comes to Thailand to do something different, only to end up checking into some fancy resort with all the comforts of home. Why not try something that's actually different?

I got about two hours into my "Try Pool," going around to every person at the pool and on the beach, but everyone was either already certified or not interested. I talked quite a bit to certified people about their diving options, but no one would get in the pool with me. Finally, a young Norwegian couple took my bait and signed the waivers and put the gear on. Right as they were doing so my boss showed up and told me "Change of plans, we're having a photo shoot and I need you." So I hauled all the gear from the resort pool back up to our diving pool (there's a lot of hauling around gear in scuba) and proceeded to participate in a very bizarre photo shoot.

Let's start with the fact that the only person who was a photographer in the group, wasn't the one taking the pictures. No, the owner wanted a male in the pool, so the photographer's camera was handed off to his wife and he was suited up into scuba gear. Then let's focus on the group of asians who were all eagerly snapping photos on their iPhones and tablets. One of these guys was the owner, the little old lady was his mother, and I have no idea who the others were, but none of them spoke any English, and they were all trying to bark orders at us. Remember the movie "Lost in Translation" when Bill Murray is in that photo shoot in the beginning and the photographer is rattling off instructions a mile a minute and then the translator comes up with a translation that is all of five words? That's what it felt like. There we were, three of us all bobbing lifelessly at the surface, no idea what was going on. At one point the mother decided it would be beneficial to draw a picture of what she wanted us to do, and what was shown to us was a kindergardener's drawing of three stick figures bobbling lifelessly in a pool. At least we were on the right track. That nonsense continued long enough to actually get a chill from the pool, which I relished, until we finally called it a wrap.

The next hour I spent running back and forth between the two pools and the gear room, trying to round up all of our gear, rinse it, and put it away. I was going to be nice and wait til the afternoon boat got back so that I could help them schlep tanks up the hill, but when my boss told me to go home, I took her up on the offer, realizing I didn't have much energy left for schlepping any more tanks that I already had. It's the thought that counts, right? Besides, someone my size isn't really the biggest help with hauling tanks anyway. It would be like your grandma offering to help you move. No offense to your grandma of course if she's a body builder or something...

The ride home was peaceful and relaxing. I used to try and keep up with Shawna and Kyle who zoom down the roads as if they own then, and then started asking myself what the big rush was? So now I take my time and enjoy the feeling of having nowhere to be. It's really a wonderful feeling. Only my bike seemed to be as worn out as I was because coming up the last steep hill, it sputtered to a stop. I say my bike was as worn out as I was but in truth I was just too worn out to ride it properly, and by that I mean I'm still learning how to ride a bike. So it sputtered to a stop halfway up the hill and I could barely get myself up that steep hill, let alone push a heavy bike. So the bike started to slide down and I tried to ground myself, at least stopping the thing from rolling if I couldn't make it move forward. Luckily someone was coming down the hill, took my bike off my hands, rolled it to the bottom of the hill (guess I was silly to even try pushing it up), and parked it at the bottom. Good enough for me. Don't worry, this road has almost no traffic, so I was not in any danger of getting run over. You could probably count on one hand the number of vehicles that go up and down this hill per day.

I walked back up the hill and up the staircase to our house and straight into the kitchen to make myself a tuna sandwich. I've never been the biggest fan of canned tuna, or rather the idea of it. It looks and smells like cat food, and so for the longest time I never touched the stuff. Before I left home though, I was babysitting for my bosses three year old son and asked him what he wanted for lunch, to which he replied tuna. So I opened up the pantry to find a well stocked supply of tuna. I died a little bit inside, wondering what three year old wants to eat cat food, aren't they supposed to be asking for wonder bread? Once the can was open he told me I had to add mustard, and dragged a chair over to the kitchen counter to show me how to mix it in. Yes, let's add some bright yellow goop to the cat food. Mmm. After his creation was perfected, we sat down and I watched him eat, to which he insisted I eat some with him. Do three year olds get offended if you don't try their cooking? I tried it and was surprised to find that it was actually quite good. So when I was grocery shopping through the strange vegetables and non-English soup packets, the sight of canned tuna was quite welcome as something I would know what to do with! Thanks to the culinary skills of my favorite little three year old, I am now living on a diet of tuna and mustard sandwiches.