1. Arrival in the Dubai (United Arab Emirates). This city is insane. It consists for approximately 80% of highways in a big, entangled mess. An 8-lane highway in the middle of the city. Seriously?
2. There are a lot of really expensive cars that drive in really dangerous ways. Eek.
3. The border crossing into Oman (Musandam) is the easiest border ever. They don’t even stamp your passport! Which is probably a good thing, since mine is almost running out of pages.
4. The dive center where we’ll work is next to a Shell petrol station and a burger joint. Screw you, people that said that this place is really remote.
5. As you can see, we’re not located directly on the beach. This means we’ll load everything into a jeep and drive to the harbour, which is located exactly 3.42 minutes away (with a full car) or 3.02 minutes with an empty one.
6. There’s a swimming pool! This will be my first time teaching in a swimming pool! This will be my first time diving in a swimming pool.
7. Boatrides! Contrary to places I’ve worked before, the boatride to the dive site takes around 45-60 minutes. This is where beanies and windbreakers come in handy.
8. Diving. Cold! I mean, not really, but this is coming from a spoiled tropical warm-water diver. 21°C. Thank you, 5mm wetsuit!
9. And green. –ish. Better now, but when we arrived visibility was around 5m. Doesn’t matter, there are nudibranch to look at!
10. It’s so pretty! There are purple, pink and blue soft corals everywhere. I just want to hover and watch them sway back and forth in the mild surge.
11. Baby turtles. Need I say more?
12. I miss my camera. I need an underwater housing.
13. Food is amazing. We have a cook. That’s weird. It’s not really our cook, but he works for the resort and since we live in the resort, he kind of is our cook too. I love him.
14. Everything outside is brown. Or grey. Or beige. And then people that have been in the UAE for years come over and yell “Oh my god it’s so GREEEEEEEEEEEEn here!!”. And we’re like, really? This is how green it is. I’ll let you decide.
15. It’s still amazingly, beautiful. The mountains have this pink hue when the sun rises. Very hard to capture on camera, but very, very pretty.
16. Mosques. Mosques everywhere. We hear the adhan, the call to prayer, five times a day. The mosques are not quite synchronized so it’s this echo of noise coming from six different angles.
18. Days off are amazing. They almost make you feel like a normal working person. I mean, we’ve had days off in the past but they were never really a thing. More, oh, there’s nothing going on, might as well have a day off. Here, they’re institutionalized. And awesome.
19. Except when you decide to drive to Dubai to surprise your boyfriend for his birthday and get hoplessly lost. Grrrrr.
20. Cake for breakfast.
More to follow