Many years ago, when I was about 18-19 I joined a diving club. We would put on scuba gears and descend in the opaque gloomy water of the lakes in the Leningrad region.
We swam in the dark waters beating up the mud from the bottom of the lake. It was interesting yet cold and scary… Long forgotten memories…
Some 20 plus years later I was vacating in Thailand with my family and we took and excursion to Phi Phi Island. The brochure advertised ‘snorkeling’ to which I did not pay much attention because I was not familiar with this word.
After an hour ride our motor boat stopped in the middle of the blue lagoon and the guide said: ‘Quickly put on your life jackets, masks and fins and start diving.’
The international public slowly started to undress and to put on diving gear. Awkwardly they jumped into the water.
When I realized what I am about to experience my heart started pumping with joy – I was about to dive into a tropical sea! I never dreamt of it because so many years ago it simply was not possible for an ordinary citizen of the communist Russia.
I was in such anticipation that I left my family behind, put on the mask and fins and dived into the sea without the life jacket. I did not want to float on the surface of the water like a lifebuoy.
I started diving – carefully at first and then deeper and deeper, reaching to the very bottom of the lagoon. My body was quickly recalling the long forgotten skills.
The tropical underwater world which opened in front of my eyes was magical – the warm transparent blue waters, the multicolor fish, corrals.
I literary had an age regression, swimming like a teen, totally excited, marveling at the new world that opened in front of my eyes.
That was a surprise, as unexpected joy.