On a dive boat there is often lots of sitting around time. Time for everyone to arrive. Time as gear is prepared. Time in between dives. There’s time to talk.
And it’s the usual who, what, where of chit chat.
Our boat had about a dozen people. A couple retired Americans, a Swiss, a Chinese, two Portuguese, a Thai, and several Germans.
The Germans intrigued me. One was a businessman, One was a pilot. One was an air traffic controller. All of them, it seemed, knew each other. In fact, they’d been coming to Thailand several times per year for several weeks at a time. In fact, they were the dive masters on this particular trip. They fly in. They hang out. They get free diving in exchange for being dive guides. After hours they relax and enjoy Phuket or wherever. Then fly back home.
And that’s not all. One of them had taken a month to hike the French Way pilgrimage hike from the Pyrenees in France to San campostela in Portugal. A hike of hundreds of kilometers. Another guy was learning to be a pilot, just because.
I wondered how they could possibly have time or money to do all that.
Maybe they didn’t have kids. That may explain some of it. Kids take a lot of money. But I’m sure they also didn’t have student loan debt that they work off over years if not decades. Or perhaps universal health care allowed them to worry less about the need for constant employment. Allowing the time to take a religious pilgrimage.
Even if they had kids, there must be more money at home if they aren’t saving to help put them kids through school. I know I’d a lot more disposable income.
I saw a simple-minded meme expressing wonder about why the caravan of migrants didn’t divert to Venezuela if they liked socialism so much. As with most memes, it failed to really identify the real problem and issue. And Venezuela does seem to be rather a mess at the extreme of socialism.
But I wonder how much more fulfilled we’d be as a society, if there were certain safety nets in place. Certain floors on which to place our ladders.
On a lighter note, SeaBees Dive Center is a nice operation. Euro/Thai operated. Reasonable priced. Dive instructors all seemed to be quite happy and to be having fun. Check them out here.