View Full Version : WOW What a ride it's been, Part 1

08-30-2007, 18:52
All right so here I am in AL Khobar Saudi Arabia looking out of my hotel http://www.algosaibi-hotel.com (http://www.algosaibi-hotel.com/) window at a sky that is sort of a gray orange color. My eyes squint as I try to figure out if what I am seeing are clouds or what? It turned out not to be clouds, but I’ll get to that later. I am staring so hard my nose ends up smooshed against the glass. Smooshed? Is that even a word? My spell checker says it isn’t but I hear it all the time. Knock, Knock, comes at the hotel door. So I go over and look out the peep hole and I am treated to a fish eye view of an empty hallway. So being the daring adventurous type I open the door and I am confronted by a little girl no taller than knee high. She looks up at me and says around the thumb in her mouth, “My Daddy wants to know if you can come out and play?”

I stand there looking down and my mouth was just forming the letter H in HU? when from around the corner walks Steve and John barely able to contain their laughter. Steve says “You’re coming out with us and we are going to learn how to Scuba dive!” HUH? There I got it out. I am looking at Steve (the owner of the small child) like he has three heads or something when he says “What else are you going to do in Saudi Arabia on a weekend, sit in your hotel room http://www.algosaibi-hotel.com/ (http://www.algosaibi-hotel.com/) and stare at the walls?” I am in stammer mode now Oh Oh Oh Okay lemme gggrab my wallet. So we go down to the car, Steve and I in the front seat and John and the child in back. We go to Steve’s house in the American X-Pat compound and drop off said child. All the while I am seriously considering on seeing a doctor. Did I black out? I do not remember loosing time; but would you remember loosing time if you were blacked out? I certainly do not remember ever mentioning interest in Scuba diving. Up until a few minutes ago Scuba diving had not, in 32 years even crossed my mind?

Now I find myself in a car going to what was to be my first open water class like I’d planned it all along! In Saudi Arabia no less! Isn’t Saudi all about desserts and all that? GOT TO SEE A DOCTOR this is not normal. I am at the beginnings of a full blown anxiety attack fearing that I am loosing my mind when we arrive at the compound community pool, we walk over to the pool house and waiting inside is Ibrahim. He welcomes us and hands us each a set of PADI course material. He has a whiteboard and overhead projector all set up……. OK HOLD EVERYTHING! This is surreal, I must be having an out of body experience or, or, or this is a conspiracy. YES! It’s a conspiracy. Actually it was, I was in Saudi Arabia installing a telecommunications system and network, and I was also responsible for systems operation and maintenance training. Ibrahim, Steve and John all were students in that class. So as I was going to be in Saudi for several months they conspired to get me to join their OW class. Ibrahim was a PADI Instructor as well as an electrical engineer, unbeknownst to me. I was regaining my composure with the knowledge that my next abode would not be a well padded cell in some facility with “Sanitarium” in its name and I begin to wonder what fine mess my buddies had gotten me into. The classroom session flew by, my head spinning from the information I was getting and the fact that I still could not come to grips with even being there. We headed back to my hotel and I realized that I had shopping to do, actually we all did. I did not bring any swim trunks and all of us were going to need masks, fins and that stuff. We agreed that we would go out the next day and go shopping. It was right about that time the sand storm hit. Remember the weird Orange Gray sky I was gawking at?

That is it for this installment. Coming up over the next few days is the storm, the shopping trip and the OW course from Hell! Later suicidal flying fish, really really fresh sushi, and how to drown gracefully in front of your first OW class.

08-31-2007, 12:25
what are you doing in saudi arabia?

08-31-2007, 12:41
can't wait 'till the next installment! :smilie40:

ScubaToys Larry
08-31-2007, 12:44
what are you doing in saudi arabia?

I was in Saudi Arabia installing a telecommunications system and network, and I was also responsible for systems operation and maintenance training.

No Misses
08-31-2007, 13:03
OK. So it took me all of ten seconds after reading this thread to look at your Screename and see that you have >500 dives. I am looking forward to the rest of the story =)