Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dive Impressions 14


shy means survival
letting any being close is the end
break the rule sometimes

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dive Impressions 13


dangerous beauty
dancing through blue dimensions
striking as lightning

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dive Impressions 12

Yes? Yes.

the old school of chat
oldest wisdoms passing through

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dive Impressions 11

Life - from a perspective No. 9

you gliding through life
absorbing calming feelings
life gliding through you

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dive Impressions 10

A gentle warrior.

cruising through pastel life
sharing feelings with colors
thoughts become outcasts

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dive Impressions 9

Alone together.

next to each other
close but anchored out of reach
ocean singing soft tune

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dive Impressions 8

A mountain high.

dressed in ocean pure
bonsai feeding on plankton
flowers taking walks

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dive Impressions 4

Close Encounters

caressing water
feelings flowing to and fro

calmness soaking in 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dive Impressions 3


soft gentle and painful
friendly yet unfriendly being
goodness simply is

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dive Impressions 2

The Orchestra

a harp and a flute
a soundless blue symphony
your mind opens its gates

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dive Impressions 1

Inner Outer Space

crowded solitude
awareness of your freedom
purple sounds of travels


Times are a changing.
Me too.
After my e-sabbatical again regular Thursday's posts.
Dive impressions.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Support Local People

No, not again! Working for peanuts...

When we spend, what an average Balinese needs two years to earn, for enjoying two weeks of our holidays, we like to think we are also spreading our wealth to those not born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
How we achieve the maximum benefit for local population?

a) we buy a flight ticket
b) book accommodation through a booking system
c) choose only locally owned services
d) avoid using services provided by foreign owned businesses

Great! Mission accomplished! Mission – our holidays, yes – our altruistic goal not so much.

For getting to a faraway destination there is no way around – we have to buy a ticket. How the money spend for the ticket is distributed we know.
Maybe an Euro or two trickles down to baggage handler, cleaner, check in staff in Bali.

When you book your accommodation a nice commission will be diverted to the booking system. As a Balinese owner with no tax number, no bank account, no legal paper work can not cooperate directly with this booking system, he uses a friendly help offered some time ago by a clever guest. A tourist who knew how to profit from his stay in Bali is doing this for him (and several others). And of course extracts a fat friendly commission from the Balinese owner. As owner of the Balinese accommodation is in the end getting way less than expected, and his profit margin is sacred – the only solution is to cut a little more on already meager salaries of local staff.
Each employed at the place you enjoy hospitality at gets maybe 20 to 30 cents of your money per day. Cents, not Euros.

Avoid foreign owned businesses and help Balinese people by going straight to a local business, paying in cash, and people employed there will enjoy full benefits of your payment.
And in many cases services come at cheaper price, so it's a pure win-win situation.
There is just a minor catch here.
Local owner pockets more profit than foreign one. At lower prices for the services.
Should we declare him a spiritual guru of the new-age multidimensional economics?
Or a self-centered, egoistic guru leading a permanent “Working for peanuts” sweatshop?

Some facts are not overly advertised. As for instance much longer hours for staff when working for a local owner. Much lower salary when working for a local owner. Much less (or none) benefits for staff working for local businessman.

Similar to anywhere else in the world. Try to estimate if people working at an establishment seem happy – if so, good chances are, a decent part of your money is coming to them as well.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Killing Software

Trust old Abe.

Information is knowledge. Knowledge is power.
And ignorance is strength, Eric A. Blair would add.

when I hack and download a designing software I'm a designer

b) with translating software I'm a translator
c) downloading a manual for heart transplantation makes me equal to DeBakey
d) following the instructions from you tube I become a rocket scientist

We all know the names of Shakespeare, Newton, da Vinci, Paracelsus, Mozart, Aristotle, Einstein, Gutenberg, Michelangelo … All of them were brilliant in specific areas.

For ages people were excelling in various specialties. In one, maybe another one or two, related to their basic field of expertise, however, they were smart enough not to try to be geniuses in all aspects of human endeavors.
They allowed cooks to cook, gardeners to garden, politicians to lie, teachers to teach.

Today all the e-connected people are excelling in all the areas of human endeavors. If you are internet savvy, you do not need experts for anything anymore.
If you are a brilliant lawyer and your client who's a medical doctor is explaining to you the finer points of the law, as he has read on the Holy Internet, yes, it's a horrible feeling. But when you as a lawyer are trying to enlighten your car mechanic with your internet wisdom on viscous coupling unit service procedure, this is just completing the circle of a blissful ignorance.

So we have an immense amount of information available to anyone at any time. However, we should be aware of a caveat to this information. As anybody is allowed to add to the treasure chest of human knowledge, the modest sum of useful information is more and more hidden in the exponentially growing garbage – a true proverbial needle in a haystack.
How does it reflect on everyday life?
For too many contemporary designs a better choice of word would be disasters.
Too many contemporary translations are mainly used only for people with constipation problems.

A rather old saying, used by a Slovenian poet as an answer to ignorant critics, is still very much in place today:
“Let the cobbler stick to his last.”
Or in modern translation:
“Shoes only belong to equine.”

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Divers. Expatriates. Friends.

Can you imagine how many skills each of us posses? Add to this number all the skills we are acquiring day after day. To cope with our jobs. With businesses we run. The skills needed to make our leisure time good.
Yet so frequently we are stonewalled on our paths due to the lack of certain skills.
What should we do?

use every moment of our time to master some more skills

b) declare ourselves as incompetents
c) lock ourselves in the room and cry in the dark corner
d) or
to learn when it is time to ask for some help

Some skills of today differ significantly from skills of yesterday. How to track a deer is not so important when visiting a supermarket. The skill how of making a canoe from a log fades compared to the negotiating skill when you are renting a canoe on the lake.
However, some skills remain same essential as they used to be.
How to interact with other living creatures and with yourself – without these skills people were doomed to the hollowness of their souls. And still are. The most neglected skill, how to accept yourself for what you are and through this to accept anything you encounter for what it is, is maybe even more important than the skill of how to operate your new ENIAC hand-phone.

When it comes to understanding of density, turbulence, temperature changes, partial pressures of air and other mixtures of gases I'm OK. Lecturing on the significance of Bernoulli equation and explaining why a hundred ton airplane doesn't fall from the sky as a brick used to be my profession.
Reading a diagram is fine by me.
However, when a small, devious mechanical part develops a tiny leak under the pressure all my skills of understanding are blown out of the window. How to dismantle the little monster without destroying half of the machinery, what to service and what not, why to change this and not that – I feel like a PhD in Comparative Philosophy trying to figure out his new state of the art coffee machine.

After weighing two remaining options, to either bang my head into the brick wall until I'm enlightened or call a friend who is a master of this and similar issues I decided for later.
I know he is overburdened with his work, he hardly gets any time to rest – but he came with a smile, checked the system and found a solution in a few minutes.

The meaning of the overused, too many times abused phrase “That's what friends are for” is clear. Yet, if your best friend doesn't have a clue what kind of help you need, do not whine nobody cares about you.
Speak up.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Marry a Balinese Woman

John, do you want to be an ATM for this woman?

Reasons to marry a woman with whom you can not share irrelevant things like ideas, thoughts, jokes, beliefs etc. are: she is so cute, modest, undemanding, eternally grateful for being taken from poverty to well-being by you.
And on top of that you will marry half of Balinese population. The half that is not willing to work, but is willing to enjoy the spoils of successful marriage. You will soon discover her extended family is obviously big enough to start a new country.
Reasons why a Western guy would marry a local woman:

a) she will follow you humbly and with a radiant smile to any boutique
b) she will find 1000 ways to thank you for all the gifts
c) she will be your pride and joy, shining as her new diamond ring
d) she will milk you dry as successfully as any Western woman

One important reason could be also all the help your local wife and her family can provide when you want to do some business in Bali.
They will explain to you, that as a foreigner, you will have to pay horrible taxes, license fees, contributions and another zillion of expenses. Probably you do not want to be a foreign owner of a small business and pay outrageous 15% of your income all the time for this.

But your loving wife and her cooperative family have a solution for you.
They will be so kind and allow you to put your business in their name and expenses of running the business will drop down to amazing 2% - as they are local people and there is a different set of rules for locals. In any case your goal is not to own something in Bali, you simply wish to put some of your money into some business and have the right to work. As a decent member of your new family you will give maybe just one percent of your income to each of those 30 family members who are helping you with lowering the costs.
As they cannot afford to rent cars for their necessary office visits you will cut the expenses for renting the vehicles down to zero by buying three cars and a couple of motorbikes for them and this problem is solved.

Because of the huge savings (dramatically lowered expenses) they will also try to help you out with ideas what to do with the rest (if any) of your money.

There is always at least one member of the family who is terminally ill and desperately needs money for the doctor.
There are always some underprivileged children in the family who cannot go to school as nobody can buy them new motorbikes.
There are always extremely important ceremonies going on – the only problem is, somebody has to foot the bill.

This is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. What's below the surface would better describe Edward J. Smith - the captain of the Titanic.

Girls, please don't laugh your heads off. Western ladies falling for a Balinese guy hit just a little bigger iceberg.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

SCUBA Diving Wisdom

Great Masters after a good dive

What, usually not advertised, benefits you can expect from some good, serious diving? Is it revealing wisdom hidden deep inside of you? Is it unleashing the child in you? Is it reminding you of the memory of freedom? Do you simply fall in love with the overall sensation of diving? Or …?

air users: nitrogen narcosis will stone you all the way into the stone age
b) nitrox fans: oxygen will rot your brain
c) trimix hard core divers: helium will make you speak funny
d) any kind of diving: you go gaga

A nice example are these two divers on the photo. Not overly young, not overly old – average age 34 years, together they speak 8 languages (when excited at the same time) and they have more than 7000 dives under their weight belts.
OK, distribution of years, language skills etc. is not exactly even, matter of fact, not even getting close to fifty-fifty, but our goal is not to split the hairs, neither to determine how many divers can dance on one regulator – we are looking for some of the hidden benefits of diving.

For a week we were exchanging the roles of a teacher and a student. We mastered some new diving techniques, a few interesting points of view on life, philosophy and culinary ideas were exchanged – and who benefited more is hard to say.

We were using a little more vivid descriptions for certain diving related phenomena, we tackled some issues from the left field – and all the time immensely enjoyed. We enjoyed in sharing experience, knowledge, ability to think way out of the box, ability to find humor on the boat trip, below the surface, chatting on the beach …

During the workshop “Age, Diving, Chili and Life” we concluded that scuba diving can be even more entertaining than preparing for a CPA exam. It can be even more relaxing than visiting your dentist and even more pleasant than working in a coal mine. Participants of the workshop also stated that properly conducted scuba diving can be less stressful than driving certain Lebanese trucks to American embassies.

We are still searching for the answer, why despite all these conclusions people still crave for diving.

Thursday, April 24, 2014



Coming one by one
Enjoying life here and there
Leaving one by one

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ethics in Diving Business

I used to clean windows at the authorized PADI dive resort ...

Getting a temporary job at McDonald’s, PADI or General Dynamics is not exactly the same as being the owner of the same business.
It is important how you use marketing tools when presenting yourself and your own business. It's so easy to use tricks to attract attention, however, these same tricks can bite you in your ass.
Would you trust a guy who is trying to mislead you, trick you, deceive you - to be your chosen dive operator?

a) no, as ethic principles are essential in this business
b) no, cheating in any way and diving is not a good mixture
c) no, thank you
d) no way

Therefore it's rather important also how we approach our internet marketing. By using half truths, tools that are on the border of legal (or on the other side), implying to our potential customers we or our business are something different from what we are – this is all an absolute no go.
In any business, in diving business even more, we have to trust each other fully.

On the other hand, there is even some advantage of sleazy “marketing” techniques also for customers searching for information.
If you are searching for a fine diving operator such as a PADI dive resort, and see among top results “Tauchen Plonge PADI Bali – me give you good dive...”, probably some warning bells will sound. Yes, you are right, guy is just trying to get you to his miserable dive shack and of course he has nothing to do with a real PADI dive shop.

You also have to understand why somebody would risk to be seen as a trickster. As this can be really counterproductive in long term for him. Or even in short term.
Number one reason is usually inability to establish a recognized and respected name of his own business. And a good portion of greed. And moral standards at absolute zero.
So he feels there is no other option than hijacking another recognized and respectable business name to catch some customers.

My dear, young (and not so young) diving colleagues, when trying to keep your business above the water please keep this on mind.
In whatever form you present yourself and your business, always stick to the truth. I mean the truth. Not half truth. Not omitted truth. The truth.
If it's not in your favor today (you have just started, you haven't got enough experience), so what? Replace it with your enthusiasm and experience will be there as time moves.
Recognition and respect will come. If deserved.
Never, ever use any unethical “shortcuts”, stain of sleaziness you can not wash away so easily.

And for old sinners:
Go forth and sin no more.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nuclear Kitchen

Goodyear rating: 5 meteors

What do we get if, for instance, Mediterranean and South East Asian cuisine marry and decide to have offspring?

spring rolls

b) nuclear kitchen
c) a dozen of gaping rednecks staring at the dish
d) fusion cuisine

Well, spring rolls have nothing to do with your rolling activities with a willing neighbor on a spring bed.
If you have to look up in wikipedia what the hell cooking and kitchen means – yeah, then b is the answer.
If your idea of a faraway cuisine is what a guy at the far end of your village is cooking, probably the answer is c.
However, if the story is an old fashioned love story – then d is the answer.

It's rather helpful if you can figure out what is compatible and what not before you start to mix – things, people, food or ideas.
For instance, if you try to combine both a Balinese habit of attending all of the 432 full day ceremonies every year and Western rat race mania into your lifestyle the result can be frowned upon. And you can end up in a special institution.
If you allow that Asian way of life adds a moderate dose of self reflection and a slightly different point of view into the hectic Western life it can be simply refreshing.

Same goes for culinary achievements. Or disasters.
Mixing for mixing sake, to show to our peers how open minded we are, well, results are rarely worth the effort.
However, adding a whiff of hot stuff to sometimes too bland Western food can be pleasantly piquant. And if you at the same time replace the traditional Asian coconut oil with Mediterranean olive oil, this can open the gates to delicious fusion cuisine. If you substitute Western green beans with a more tasteful wild Asian cousin, add some lemon grass, a pinch of … and it can easily happen all you have to do is invent the name for a new culinary masterpiece.

In case visualization, contemplation of tastes, dreaming of the results is above your kitchen abilities – put a cup of water with a spoonful of Nescafe into your microwave oven and enjoy a true nuclear delight.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Food Safety in Bali

Left or right?

Maybe you prefer to live on the edge when exploring the world, maybe your favorite pastime is Russian roulette. However, it makes sense to get at least an idea what you will be exposed to, before switching from trusted and safe Power Bars to dangerous local food.
International research results show that any food you will eat in Bali and will not kill you is safe.



As a true snake eater you can take a swig of Jack Daniels, say a quick prayer, cross your fingers and pay a visit to a restaurant as the one on the right side of the photo.
Our researchers asked some prominent Balinese chefs to describe these dishes. Needless to say, locals are going after these specialties as Dracula after garlic bread.

Guacamole: is the famous Dutch dish, namely fried scrapings from garbage bins – must be good for tourists.
Pepes: medieval Canadian dish based on the famous Canadian banana leaves – must be good for tourists.
Wiener: named after a French province, meat left-overs with sugar coated boiled onion – must be good for tourists.
Gordon Blue: Australian specialty for all the overhang, sad and blue travelers – must be good for tourists.

And now take a look on a wild side (left).

Nasi goreng: fried rice, vegetables, chili, chicken (in traces).
Nasi campur: plain rice with assorted spices, vegetables, egg, fish, shredded coconut.
Gado gado: rice cooked in banana leaves with peanut sauce.
Rujak: slices of pineapple, cucumber, banana etc served with a thick sauce made from palm sugar, pinch of salt and chili.

In a nutshell, enjoying exotic Balinese cuisine in Bali and exotic homemade Western dishes while vacationing in Europe sounds as a good recipe for me.

Thursday, March 27, 2014



Follow the bubbles
To breathe the rainbow again
Or follow the fish.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Holiday & Vacation

What is worse?

Tendency of today businesses is to torture us with increased workload and demands for efficiency. The newest and the worst trick (so far luckily only in diving industry) is to force us to survive three months of holiday (preferably in snow covered European mountains) and nine months of scuba diving vacation (in colorful fish infested tropical waters – as for instance in Bali). Year after year.
Who can endure this?

a) true workaholics powered by chili
b) people who proved they can work 26/8
c) me
d) you

When listening to most of the people I encounter either in Bali or in Europe, common sentiment seems to be: “You divers do what you love to do, and contrary to us, regular, upright citizens, you not only get your diving for free, you even get lavishly paid for enjoying dive after dive!”

Being what I am I can not stop myself asking them why the heck they have chosen gratifying job of copying and pasting numbers (or words) from left column to the right one. Day after day. A streak of masochism? They have to pay for the sins from previous life?
More or less anything we do in our lives – for pleasure, for earning survival funds – we do as a result of our decision(s).
Usually nobody is forcing us into accepting miserable lifestyle at a gunpoint.

It comes down to your calling.
Most people find something other people are willing to pay for, to be their true passion. I'm not talking just about the artists who love to create, same goes also for a mechanic who wants to understand every gadget he can lay his hands on, an economist who is able to see poetry in the balance sheet, a lawyer who discovered he can use the paragraph jungle to right some wrongs, a gardener whose reward is creation of a piece of heaven for a customer …

Serious problem can occur if your soul is craving for landscaping but you have masters in law sciences. And if society succeeds to persuade you that your face on a totem pole of achievements will drop for a few positions if you will follow your call – well, then you are doomed.
Better to remain well regarded and bitter lawyer than a great and happy landscaper.

Our choices are in most cases wide open.
We can opt to follow our dreams. Or we can opt to follow our nightmares. Or listen to family, friends, society what would be the best for us.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Quality (of diving, food, accessories, life ...)

The Best Bicycles! Unbeatable Prices!

This is more of a linguistic exercise. In the past most languages conveyed very similar message when using the word quality.
However, when Far East Asia countries entered the global market, nobody bothered to check what they understand by “quality”.

a) shit
b) worthless shit
c) completely worthless shit
d) shit, so worthless that even permanent residents of graveyards start to cry

They use these different varieties of “quality” to improve consumption rate in these countries. If a new car survives distance of a more than 65 kilometers without falling apart, proud owner gets his two minutes on national TV.

And what has the price of rice in these countries to do with you (or me)?
Well, our brave markets jumped into this perversity as a fly into a puddle of buffalo excrement.
Today this new use of word quality is used all over the globe. Europe, USA, north, left, right, south...

This can lead to annoyance and even to serious issues.
Many patients would call it annoying, when surgically implanted pacemaker would go berserk after two months.
Even more annoyance will likely cause new European directive that minor surgeries will not be performed any more by overpriced European doctors, but by competitively priced imported butchers (for safety of the population, these butchers will have to sign a statement that they are really good).
However, this things our brain-washed and consumption-oriented society can easily swallow.
Way more serious becomes when I buy a “cheap quality” vanity mirror and it shows instead of my pretty face a stupidly looking aging wild boar...

Maybe it's time for some action.
Don't panic, I'm not starting a crusade, not a fearless ranting in my favorite pub, not even a genocide.
All I propose is just a good, old economical tool.
Boycott anything that smells, performs, acts, smells... as a piece of garbage.
Boycott global entrepreneurs that adopted zero quality syndrome.

However, quality test of dive shops (all self declared members of highly reputable scuba agencies) in Pemuteran, Bali has been cut short when Chuck Norris fainted.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lost in Bali

We did it!

If you would hire a driver to take you from Rome to Munich and he would start asking “How many kilometers is there to Munich? We just passed Amsterdam ...” - hilarious joke would be shared as a wildfire.
If something like this happens in Bali, it's just another day behind the wheel for a driver.
How to organize such an adventure?

a) find the cheapest driver available
b) ask him if he knows Bali
c) ask him if he knows your destination
d) ask him if he can cover the road distance of 135 km in 4 hours

As the traditional Balinese culture requires answering yes / no questions with a polite yes, you are immediately assured all will go well.
During your exploration of the Bali frontiers (which was not in your original itinerary), you will learn another thing about Balinese. They are shy. Shy to admit they have no clue what they are doing and asking somebody for assistance or correcting the mistake.

Case study:
You depart place A (a known tourist resort in Bali) at 2 p.m. On Thursday. You are looking forward to a pleasant afternoon ride among rice fields, up the mountains, down to the coast and reaching your booked destination, place B (another known tourist resort in Bali) still at daytime. Four hours for 135 kilometers, OK, slow, but what the heck, a lot of sightseeing on the way.

Just before planned arrival to place B, your driver announces, arrival will be delayed for 90 minutes. Roads are slow in Bali. Slow traffic in Bali is definitely a genuine surprise for anybody, especially a professional driver.
You think, OK, if we arrive seven thirty there is still time for a dinner and a chat, no problem.
At around eight thirty your driver just blissfully passes through the location B and as his job description is driving, not stopping, he just continues driving. At nine thirty your driver places a May Day call to place B. “We see the ferries going from Bali to Java. How far is it to your place?” When you explain “If you turn around one hour, however, if you continue ...”.
Answer from the driver: “Sorry, can not turn around, guests would notice I was wrong ...”

It's Friday, daytime, 19 hours since 135 km odyssey started. No hint where the driver is. No hint where his passengers are. They all dropped from all radar screens. Approaching Bermuda triangle?

Or a more prosaic answer is in place. The driver has been just playing a common Balinese trick, pretending to be a poor, dumb, lost soul – while frantically texting for offers from his business contacts and deciding where and for how much to sell his exhausted, properly tenderized and desperate clients?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

It Hurts Badly

Don't hurt me.

We are all equipped with many gifts - gifts provided to us by Gods, genetic heritage, blue smelling higher energy. Or whatever. Most of them are beautiful – ability to see, smell, touch, taste, love, laugh, talk, walk – however, the gift of stupidity – why this one?

a) to save us from going crazy
b) to truly appreciate rare sane moments
c) to accept this thing called life more easily
d) just weird sense of humor of Gods ...

The other day I tried to do some arithmetic. If I would get for every brilliantly stupid decision I did in my life a modest sum of cash, let's say 100 EUR – well, I think by now I could buy a medium size country or even afford myself a pizza every day.
Then I started to ask myself why I am sometimes (no, not always, usually just in the early afternoons) so stupid. Has it something to do with the shape of my nose, color of my motorbike, color of my skin, my bank account, the way I can wiggle my toes, my position in the company …?
No, not really. More with the performance of the gray matter between my ears.

Amazing phenomena is also distribution of stupidity. There is plenty, plenty, plenty of stupidity around me. Really amazing is, I got the smallest portion of it. Most of the people surrounding me got much bigger portion of this gift.
If I extrapolate this observation, this fact is probably true also in your case … Did you notice that many people you are interacting with are much more stupid than you?
Hmm … something in this equation doesn't compute ...

And here comes the horrible news for all the various kinds of racists.
This gray substance is exactly the same all over the world.
If you can not swallow this fact, ask your favorite lobotomy specialist if he happened to find anything different in your skull.

Breathe out. Breathe in. Relax. You are brilliant. I am brilliant. We are all the children of the Wisdom incarnated.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wreck Diving Specialty Course

There's no wreck as a wrecked diving certificates seller

As demand for user friendly “Wreck Diving Course” is increasing, we devised a six clicks, one credit card online course for you. For all of you who would like to wreak utter havoc amidst lesser divers.
Requirements to get certified are:

a) your valid credit card
b) correct PIN code
c) internet access
d) click on Yes, I listened to “Smoke on the Water, Fire in the Sky” by Deep Purple

We are fully aware that some less reputable diving agencies offer faster ways to achieve this outstanding recognition in diving community.
However, as we always put your safety on the top, our educational and quality control departments insisted on including also requirement d.
As bean counters department members started to foam, we decided that your certification card will be processed also in case if you do not meet standard described in step d. In this case your c-card will differ from fully trained Wreck Diver. Specialty name will be printed in 0.01 millimeter smaller font size.

Why we highly recommend you do the full program?
Steps a, b and c are declared and approved as “Absolute minimum anti-decompression sickness risk training program” and are at the same time extremely beneficial for our fat accounts.
Our Department for “Elimination of Dive Related Injuries During Training” invented a fail-safe procedure for Wreck Diving Training. While conducting practical part of the course – following the opening riffs of “Smoke on the water, fire in the sky” Deep Purple will safely take you through all the needed steps.
If you are tempted (maybe due to too high decibel level of the presentation) to use sea to sea missiles to wreak havoc and create some wrecks on your own, without a mandatory buddy – you need a Tec Wreck Diving License. This one requires black credit card.

If you liked this, you will be probably interested also in our online Shower Diver Specialty, Dry Diver Specialty and Extreme Hydrophobic Diver Specialty courses.
As long as your bank doesn't block your credit card you are warmly welcome!

Safe clicking and clear wi-fi signal!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Complaining Nation

Balinese philosopher and meditation guru
discovers arak bottle is empty

Have you ever heard anybody complaining about anything?

a) too often
b) on every corner
c) even at work
d) shut up and listen to my complaints first!

Complaining is the one activity without a trace of discrimination. Regardless of nationality, religion, color of underwear, political beliefs, sexual preferences, literacy, IQ, number of pancakes you can eat – complaining seems to be the number one hobby for humans.

For a while I thought complaining about something means we want it to be different, so we could enjoy our life. I think I couldn't be more wrong.
We enjoy in complaining itself, and not in changing anything.
Complaining for complaining sake.

You think I should change the substances I'm on? It's just good Bali coffee …

Correct me if I'm wrong:

Bloody rain, it will never stop!
You get clear sky, hot sun.
It's unbearably hot, I can not afford air conditioning, when this will end?!

I feel miserable, I desperately need a lover!
Here is a loving partner for you.
Yeah, great! Getting really boring, I miss my old friends ...

Everybody can go for holidays except me, I'll die here!
You are in Bali.
I'm so far from my home! Take me home!

If I don't get a different job I'll go crazy with my coworkers!
A new job.
Where did they find all this weird people to be in our office?!

I want to see some snow! Will it ever start snowing?!
White fairy tale is here.
Am I a slave? Shoveling the snow is for convicted war criminals!

I have to stop writing, I'll step out and complain a little …

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Safety Stop Recommended

Not for me, I'm a free diving mermaid :)

Especially when pushing the envelope, when diving on Thursday or when you have no other important obligations, major fun providing associations recommend a safety stop at five meters of depth for a few minutes. What is this ubiquitous safety stop anyhow?

a) time you allow yourself to slowly out-gas some nitrogen before returning to the surface
b) a good tool to slow down your ascent rate at least for the last part of your dive
c) a good tool to test your buoyancy skills and improve them
d) time to choose the best opening line for a snorkeling mermaid

This question and provided answers are just a generator of a smile for divers. All this is lectured, explained and done so many times by any scuba instructor teaching basic scuba courses, that it's as clear as a Swarowski crystal to any diver.
Yeah, I wish.

As I am not exactly the most trusting soul on this planet, I always direct conversations with our divers towards diving related subjects. To get better idea what they know, how they understand basic principles of scuba diving, do they need some remedy of their knowledge …
Could be scuba diving theory is evolving too fast for me (and I missed the newest break-through in this field), or (God forbid!) naive owners of scuba diving plastic certificates were not appointed as divers during their Open Water Scuba Courses but rather as a bonus during their Gypsy fortune teller session - for a modest surcharge.

Some of the answers provided by holders of scuba diving certificates nicely illustrate the state scuba diving education achieved.

Safety stop will prevent water entering my mouth.
Safety stop we should do before every dive.
If you do not do safety stop, you can hit into a diver in front of you.
If you run out of air, safety stop will save you.
We have to do safety stop any time we lose our weight belts.
Never do a stop! The most important rule in scuba diving is never, ever stop diving.

And so on …

Authors of the answers:
Fluent in English, recently (not more than six months ago) scuba certified, bright, adult (over 18 years of age), well educated.

Their teachers:
Possibly a selection of the finest scuba educators.
Yes, possible, but not very likely.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Global vs. Native English

You mean, I should eat the regulator?
Diving seems really demanding...

As at most tourist destinations, also in Bali, with some English you can get what you are looking for. Question is, why native English speakers have so many communication problems?

a) they speak funny
b) they listen funny
c) they don't speak real English
d) a fact, that besides their home village dialect even some other dialects exist out there, never crossed their mind

What is proper spoken English is anyhow a mystery. Is it really essential to hold a live fish (or two) in your mouth when speaking? You really need surgery on your adenoids before saying a word in proper English? Do you have to master drunken miner dance before basic phonetic lessons?

When traveling abroad global English is definitely an advantage.
And English native speakers are many times at serious disadvantage.

Imagine two guests ordering a breakfast in Bali.
A German guy: “Please, coffee with sugar and milk. Orange juice. Toast and butter and jam. Fried eggs. Thank you!”
And his friend a native English speaking lady: “I'm not overly demanding at all, but please do try to understand! Yesterday you brought me for my breakfast very spicy fried rice! You should know, I don't take chili at any time, and you put really a lot of chili in my fried rice for breakfast! Please do not repeat the mistake and get me a normal breakfast today! Something like what my companion ordered would be absolutely OK. Thank you so much!”
Balinese waiter is patiently listening to both, nodding, smiling, taking notes.
German guy gets his coffee, toast ... everything what he ordered.
A few minutes later his lady companion gets her fried rice with extra dose of chili.

German guest properly assessed local waiter's English abilities and listed his order like a search query for Google. And top result was what he wanted.
His companion's order caused waiter's processor to overheat and after filtering out the keywords, well, it was still not really bad.
Imagine she would be ranting that she's not a cannibal and she doesn't eat fried babies for breakfast ...

It's really refreshing to listen to comments of my guys on spoken English abilities of our guests. Highest marks for good English are regularly awarded to continental Europeans.
For some Australian and British accents my guys asked, how come these guests can not speak some English?

Thanks be to Gods, educational system in Bali enables most people to speak three languages (passably). And is not copying the system of some third world countries, where well educated adults can speak only the language their mother taught them.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stylish Scuba Diving

A diver is a diver.

Internationally recognized scuba behavioral researcher Liam O'Bubble published his theory why male divers tend to look like hell and female divers usually look like princesses going for a dive. Obviously the function of different looks has rather deep roots.

a) unkempt, wild look of a male will keep away sable-tooth tiger - and mandarin fish as well
b) fragile, beautifully dressed female look will save her from any work (in the prehistoric cave or when scuba diving)
c) savage male diver look is a living proof of safety for his buddies
d) female extremely good looks will calm the raging ocean

With a few simple strokes author managed to draw a perfect picture of an answer to the question older than our civilization.
How come, one part of our specie tends to draw a short straw (again and again), and the other part a long one (again and again)?
Brilliant minds were searching for the answer in philosophy, sociology, religion, supermarkets, old dusted manuscripts, mysterious texts on cereal boxes, on google …
And the result of all the burned midnight oil: nothing.
And yet, the answer is more than obvious even to a naked eye. Just take a look.

Imagine you come to visit your friend. You come in your old jeans, old sweat shirt and you are anticipating a pleasant chat, sipping a cold beer …
She's dressed to kill and you charmingly blurt out: “Wow, you look ...”
And she innocently changes the subject and mentions her kitchen sink is blocked.
Even if you are just a young candidate for a rocket scientist, you'll figure out in one tenth of a second who will spend afternoon under the disassembled kitchen sink, fighting with grime, hair, old food remains …

And in scuba diving it's no different.

Magic these sweet looking devils (oops, divers) use to work on you, is fantastic. You start to believe your one and the only goal in life is to make their scuba diving easier than a stroll in a park.
And all just because of looks.
A gentle, fragile baby – of course she needs help to tighten her fins, to close the buckles on her gear, to get her in the water …
Girls - diving, snorkeling, dry – I love you all even more when little flames are bursting from your nostrils ...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Is My Way the Only Right Way?

Try me.

Interesting question by one of my divers. “Are you sure everybody should do it your way? Do you know how arrogant this is?” Question was related to scuba diving, not something else.

a) no, as I respect free will, you can do it either my way or wrong way – your choice
b) maybe I inherited some arrogance from the guy who when brought to the stake repeated “Epur si muove”
c) if my arrogance now and then prevents shit from happening, I can live with it
d) if doing things the right way is arrogant - so be it

Point is, in certain professions you should not be just able to accumulate a load of knowledge and experience to implement your decisions. You should be aware that decisions you make you can not undo. Right or wrong or somewhere in-between – you will have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.

So, this ugly quality – arrogance – is in place under certain conditions. I repeat, under certain conditions.

However, if the only quality of a person is arrogance (this is about 90% dive leaders I see in our waters) – this quality is more properly described as a pure shit. Let it be your chosen dive leader is a failed trekking guide, scuba instructor, gardener … Stupidly smiling, greedy morons taking care of your well being - without basic knowledge, without any respect to safety, no respect to their clients and trying to cover their total incompetence with arrogance – well, unfortunately, South East Asia is a great place for such idiots to prosper.

Rather good example is if we take a look at the experience programs devised for not yet certified divers. Several agencies devised some really good and save guidelines how to conduct this program, also PADI has a good and safe program for this. And when a non diver asks me to don him in a scuba gear and take him down to 30 meters and into caverns on the wall – as this is the only thing worth seeing here, I “arrogantly” explain why this would not be advisable. In many cases he finds a PADI dive center in neighborhood with more open minded dive leaders (idiots from the passage above) and after (if) surviving a horror experience he starts to blame everybody and everything, except his poor choice.

Dear divers!
I'm still working on the issue how to help you find only real PADI dive centers in Pemuteran and rest of Bali.
NSA, Alcoholic Anonymous and CIA gave up.
Fox Mulder seems to become deeply religious. He uttered: “Oh, my God ...”
And owners of the brand name can not hear our pleas. They listen to Sex Pistols song “And we don't care...” at too high volume.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Save the Planet and Bali

E.T. Marine Preservation Consulting Ltd.

Oceans desperately need our help. We desperately need your help.
Donate now!
What's happening?!

a) we are receiving cries for help from oceans constantly
b) UN funds are not sufficient and oceans need help now
c) we started to help with our own resources
d) are you still hesitating with your donation?!

Not very nice, but still a fact is the cruel reality.
Numerous (large, medium, small, micro scale) entities are collecting funds worldwide to protect this. Or that. Or something else.
So far so good.
Problem starts when somebody would like to see how this money is used in the epic fight for declared goals. If fees, salaries, marketing, hotel bills, travel expenses, and so on represent a little more than 100% of collected funds – well, that is not exactly what we donate for.

For instance we are helping to keep clean our small part of environment in Pemuteran, Bali where we live and work. We do this on daily basis and occasional bigger clean-up – as necessary. For many years. From time to time we pay donations to different organizations with similar goals.
We put in our work, pay people to help us, pay for proper disposal of waste. We just use a part of our time and income.
Once I decided to ask one of the world saving organizations to pay the bill for a couple of trucks of garbage we collected in our bay. Answer was nice, we can ask participants of clean-up to donate to this organization and we can buy (at rather inflated prices) promotional material for this organization.
Hmm ...

Are you a horrible hog in your everyday life? You generate piles of garbage on daily basis, you waste energy senselessly, you devastate habitats of animals by burning logs in your open fire-place …?
And now you want to clean the slate.
Don't send me your money – as I will not send you the “Ego te absolvo” email.
Go for a walk, if you see some trash bend and pick it up. Don't rant about an old plastic bag on the beach – pick it up and put it where it belongs.
You got the drift? Do something – small, big – doesn't really matter and the mission is accomplished.

However, if you desperately believe that the only salvation for your soul is by donating – OK, OK, be my guest.
Our Earth saving project is based on brilliant minds and tremendous efforts by some enthusiastic foreign divers, accompanied by happy, smiling and singing local people. We constructed bomb and fishermen proof shelters for last few remaining fish. We were working and ignoring bombs detonating on the beach full of guests sipping their cocktails. If you want to learn more about how we shed blood, sweat and tears for the good of the planet – donate now!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Divemastering in Bali

Do I hear right?
You love my Divemastering?!

We tested a beta version of a new (2016) program “From snorkeler to Divemaster in one day”. This innovative program brilliantly cuts all the fat from older versions and what remains is lean and clean new dive professional. Dive shop owners are already screaming for these new version of Divemastering, so job placement will be a piece of apfelstrudel.
What qualities we (dive shop owners) always expected from our Divemasters, but never got:

a) to allow divers to focus on beauty and excitement of diving
b) to make divers crave and beg for extending their stay with us
c) to prove to our divers heavens are only on our diving boat
d) to retrieve at least 125% of divers back on the boat after a dive

Old crap, such as scheduling, planning, logistic considerations, safety issues, evaluation of the members of the group, ability to establish perfect control during the dive, expert knowledge on decompression theory, diving equipment and so on and so on – is just that, crap.

Evolution is working also in our glorious diving industry. Only the greediest, totally unscrupulous will survive. Mastodons, focusing on pure diving and not only on net profits, will be extinct as dodo in a nick of time.
Previous, “From Zero to Hero” (from non-swimmer to barely swimming dive professional) 30 day instant program is a history.

Good news and bad news for ecstatic dive shop owners.

We will officially launch the new (2016) Divemaster program probably even earlier than initially planned. In late 2014. Start thinking now, where you will invest all your new enormous profits!

However, our legal department (the only essential part of any diving business), successfully protected all the rights on this program. They had to overcome some minor issues with United Nations, as one of the stipulations is to nuke out not just any offending entity but also the country allowing any violation(s) of our copyrights.
So lesser fun providing associations will not be in position to copy our program and you (dear, valued shop owners), will have to beg us for providing the services. For a modest fee, of course.

Dear readers, if an idea that I'm showing a birdie to entities offering (or allowing) “Money Back Guarantee - Zero to Hero Programs” crossed your mind, well, who am I to argue with you?