As obligatory as cowpats are peppered with clouds of flies, new working situations and social environments are spiced with heaps of rules and standards to learn and people to meet and greet. And just as much as you will successfully push your foot in the pat, you will drop one or the other brick on your future collegues and bosses feet. It is simply inavoidable.
The only halfway safe and sound alternative is to step aside, sneak around the pasture and watch the flies as they hum about the cowpats.
Additionally to these mental challenges, my first month was loaded with actual hands-on preperation for the upcoming opening of the dive centre - which is about three weeks ago by now.
Before my arrival on Cyprus, a container had already spilled its guts into the basement of our dive shop: hundreds of wetsuits, breezy regulators, strapped fins, masks, snorkels and BCDs (Buoyancy Control Device that is), as well as 1000kg of lead (yes, one metric ton), 100 dive tanks, tools, pens and everything in all sizes for kids, women and men. The biggest suit is an XXXXL and looks like a god damn tent. I fear the day that it will actually be worn by my student...
Now of course, all these items had to be properly marked and registered by means of permanent markers and engraving chops & hammer. To cut a long story short, it took us about 5 days, 11-13 hours each.
In between all the marking, branding and punching, we had to pass a course in power boat driving and compressor handling. The courses brought along two teachers: Steve from Britain for the boats and Bruno from Italy for the technical aspects.
Steve, a rather dry but great teacher - the fun way.
Bruno, type: natural phenomenon with hilarious accent - It'sa phaaantaaaastic.
Wouter, the third teacher in the list, is a dutch water sports instructor from Egypt, type: big, blonde dude, but extremely effective (see video for evidence).
There is not much to tell about Steve other than that he tought us how to drive a boat. However, ever since I will never forget that power boats do not run on diesel but exclusively on petrol!!! In the mean time, my colleagues learned the difference between the Greek words: petrelio and benzini, and that assistant gas station attendants potentially misunderstand the English word. Oh, and of course that paddling a RIP (rigid inflatable boat) back to coast is a lot of fun.
Bruno, for his part, this type of guy that tells you his life adventures during a beer at the bar after work. His girls, his companies and moronic employees. The other day, one of his Egyptian helpers entered his office to tell him that he wanted to quit because now after the revolution they would all get a part of Mubarak's treasure and that he wouldn't need his job any more. Bruno in response: There are nearly 100 million Egyptians, how much is the treasure of Mubarak? The employee calls his mother and answers with big eyes and full of pride: ONE HUNDRED MILLION!!! Bruno: So how much money will you get? Egyptian: ??... ohhhhh?!! Bruno: Back to work!
Wouter had big hands, flat feet and waved his sun bleached hair through the wind, while teaching us to wakeboard, water ski and have fun with our clients riding bananas and ringos. Yeah, the entire lot was invited by our dear boss, who is somewhat of a strange dude himself. I only wish there would have been less alcohol and more time to write down all the stories before they disappeared in the haze of time. In conclusion, Egypt must once have been a wonderful country to start even the weirdest businesses, successfully.
Ever since, we're serving our guests with diving courses and a diverse array of water sports activities. But take a look yourself!