Flying plates in Dar

Well that turned out a little differently than I’d expected!
I would have laughed harder if it didn’t literally hurt (I have scars) and if it wasn’t quite so tragic. It started, with a recurring and comically woeful experiences theme, with a few lines on a dating site.
Imagine the flickering lines on a TV screen as I bring back for some context, and laughably to the end of another similarly foolish trip to Bangkok. I was about to leave after having been diving and “working” from home in a small town called Khao Lak on the western coast of Thailand. Having invested in a nice camera (with underwater housing) I was keen to get it into action and enjoyed a number of Liveaboard diving trips in the Similan and Surin islands. It was a good time and you can see some of the results of my new purchase here.

I was procrastinating leaving in my windowless hotel room, simply because I was too early to leave to the airport. Dinner had been eaten and the bars held little or no appeal. In fact I was happy to get going, I was done with Thailand (well, for now anyway) and as I sat on the bed summoning the energy to go for a taxi I was casually “swiping” on my phone (good old Tinder). As I did so, a familiar face popped up and I realised that it was a woman (Italian) I’d recently seen on another dating site… We chatted pretty solidly for about a month, plotting and scheming trips to far flung and exotic places. However, it seemed in my mind that sooner was better than later in terms of time to meet. This meant the necessity for travel. Siting on the plane to Tanzania I tried not to think about what I’d gotten myself into. There was plenty of distraction available as looming work deadlines keep me from over thinking.

The, slightly risky, plan was to go stay with this mysterious woman and travel to Zanzibar that weekend. I’m still trying to process what happened but all I can fathom is that communication was not ideal and whether that was a cultural thing, one borne of strikingly different expectations, or just personality differences that had not been acknowledged to that point, the experience was not going well. I am very bad a hiding my discomfort in any given situation (with what’s being said or done) and I’m just not able to pretend everything is okay and act accordingly. As Monday drew to a close I arrived back to the apartment a little later than I expected after trying to finish some work. The greeting was pleasant enough but the tone quickly changed for the worse and rapidly deteriorated. Although the details have little importance the underlying reasons clearly were. The net result was an accidental meeting of an angrily launched plate and my leg. As I packed my bags trying not to bleed on what little I’d brought with me, I reached out with an SOS to an old friend (who happens to live mercifully close). With great relief she answered me within minutes. “Are you kidding me?!”… Sadly not. I really did need a hero. I found it really hard to keep some form of dignity for all involved. The situation was not cool… It very much needed some down time in the immediate sense and full closure thereafter.

The experience saddened me but not because I was disappointed once more by my comical love life, but because I’d let myself get into as situation that was so ridiculous.

I would swear that this is the last time I’ll do such a thing but my history has a habit of repeating itself so I’d sound stupid if I said this with any kind of conviction.

In the end, and after a couple of evenings catching up with my wonderful friend, I headed south to go diving. The latter part of the trip was actually a wonderful time my mind was blown by vast fields of coral, the like of which I’ve never seen before.

All I can hope is that this is the last of the ridiculous stories… Surely there’s something a little more fulfilling around the corner! At this point I think it’s time to be a little more focused on being creative and productive than all this silliness!

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