Zanzibar below sea level

Sea stars fill up the bottom and a fish looking like a two hundred year old man stares at us. He is a scorpion fish and enjoys his days hiding on rocks, where he is almost invisible, scaring the shit out of scuba diving students not aware of his glare.

My friend P and I got our open water certificates for scuba diving yesterday. Something I used to long for like crazy as I was younger, but kept on postponing as I got older. I suck at waking up when I am tired, and here it’s too hot to sleep properly before five am which means I am always pretty tired. We started the diving class early in the mornings, the two of us were the only ones in the group so we had the instructor all for ourselves. The best thing about low season.

After the pool sessions we set out for the ocean, starting to feel more comfortable wearing the heave equipment but not yet all set on the whole swimming-thing we fell backwards off the boat. Breathing under water is a cool feeling, and I keep on being nervous for the time when I swim without a regulator, what if I (in a moment of confusion) try to breathe? The first day our friend B decided to dive with us, he and P buddied up and I kept to the instructor.

After the first dive I got sea sick on the boat, and the waves at the surface made my stomach turn inside out. Our instructor wanted me to come down under the surface, but with the puke pushing from my stomach I felt I couldn’t breathe down there. The suit was too tight and the air too poor. I didn’t know what was up or down as Arnold brought me back up onto the surface and he told me to feed the fishes. No way, I thought for myself, I will not puke in the water, puking in the toilet is disgusting enough.

Ten minutes later I was feeling better, calmed down and we dove into the ocean, started to look for our friends. In the mean time we saw some fantastic fishes, sea stars, sea urchins and I don’t know what, corals and sting rays. When finding our friends we did some exercises at the bottom before getting up onto the boat again.

Last night Mali’s government was overthrown by soldiers, citing Al Jazeera: “Mutinying Malian soldiers say they have ended the rule of President Amadou Toumani Toure after claiming to have seized control of the presidential palace and the state television station in the West African nation.”
Due to my old plans I was supposed to be in Mali now. It’s supposed to feel good that I’m not there, right? But it doesn’t. I grieve that I am not there and I wonder if the right thing to do now would be to go back to West Africa?

This morning, as the neighbour played the tunes of the Little Mermaid as I had breakfast, I was thinking some more about living. Travelling is the right way of living for me, but I wonder how I did end up with this life. So many people trying to say what to do and what not to do. How come I didn’t listen to them?
Never strain yourself to fit into someone else’s world. If someone has a problem with what you want to do, it’s their problem. Create your own world and live your own life the way that you want to do it. Trying to fit into others’ is too much demanding, time- and energy-consuming. Live your life the way that you want to, and don’t try to tell other people how to live their lives, because they should do just as you: live their own. Everyone has a choice.

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