or, even more diving school
I headed to Cozumel with an excitement and determination that was soon mildly squashed when I was faced with the reality of the place. I was expecting a tropical island paradise, akin to Koh Tao and the white sand of Cancun that I had just left; instead, I was met with an utter dinginess, a run-down part of Mexico that was neither beautiful nor tropical. The house Tommy had somehow been inhabiting for two months was also home to many cockroaches, mosquitos and some of the messiest people I had ever encountered. Upon entering the kitchen and seeing the state that it had been left in, piles of food-encrusted dishes and mouldy, ant-ravaged food everywhere, I found myself almost longing for my wooden bungalow days with the spiders of unusual size. The silver lining was that our time in this dirty house was short and we would soon be moving into the beautiful apartments reserved for PADI IDC students. I braved through the first 8 days and made sure to always cautiously enter dark rooms, as not to startle the cockroaches into running towards me.
When the glorious day of moving finally came, we were delighted at the state of our new, clean apartments, complete with a pool and outdoor barbeque area. Spending most time preparing for the IDC was a lot more enjoyable pool side, and as my presence wasn’t required until the last 5 days of the course (as I was merely “crossing over” from SSI), I spent most afternoons by the pool, Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving in hand, memorizing a silly amount of information about regulator gauges.
When my time to join the IDC finally came, I was well prepared and breezed by with little difficulty, excluding my nightly battles with the physics aspect of it all. Having never been a science-minded sort of person, I generally struggled with keeping straight all the laws that are involved in diving, but in the end I passed that portion of the Instructor Exam (IE) with a 92%.
The IE was similar to the one I had written for SSI – an academics portion consisting of 5 short exams in different topics (three 100%’s and two 92%’s, thank you very much), a confined water skill presentation (full marks!), an open water presentation, and a rescue scenario. Having done the entire water section in one day instead of two, due to scheduling conflicts, Tommy and I finished our exams a day early and were granted the status of PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors. As the rest of the group would finish the next day, there was little celebration that night, but the next morning we were on our way to the airport to catch our flight to Madrid, Spain.
My time in Mexico had been short but productive, and now it was time for a new experience – meeting Tommy’s parents!