Blog for 2009-07-19

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Celebrity reenactment of 10 meter dive. Photo not to scale.

Rest Day


Today was a rest day without lectures (victory!). It was a time to relax and bask in the glory of city comforts. Most of us started with a late hotel breakfast followed by some shopping. A large group of us went to the nearby market to buy some parongs (machete type knives used for bush-wacking), sarongs and other souvenirs for our loved ones. The parongs were perfect – sharp, long, heavy, and handmade. After a relaxed morning, a large group decided to go watch the new Harry Potter movie. The reviews were mixed, but as always, most everyone thought the movie was better than the book.

Those of us less magically inclined decided to venture out into the real world. Abby, Molly, and I went to the local stadium to take a swim. Our adventures began with a local cab driver who was far too old to be driving. Thankfully his old age tamed his negotiation skills; we made our journey for a moderately overpriced RM 15. Upon arrival we were disappointed. Life guards, widely known across the globe for work ethic, at the local pool had a 3 hr lunch break. We had arrived at 1:15 pm, or just in time to sit around the pool and wait.

As I soon found out, there are a variety of ways to kill 45 minutes. I chose the simple way of just sitting and looking pretty. Molly and Abby, however, chose a different approach. By some twisted logic, they decided that it would be a great idea to do pushups, sit-ups and squats for the entirety of the time. The oft quoted truism, “time flies when you are having fun” proved accurate. I had a great time watching Molly push for more while listening to Abby complain throughout. After the warm up finished, the real workout began.

Perhaps the true success of the day came after the workout. Abby took it upon herself to entertain a small crowd of locals by jumping off a series of platforms in the diving well. She followed a progression off the 1, 3, 5, 7, and finally 10 meter platforms. All lack of diving skill and grace was redeemed by simple enthusiasm from both Abby and the locals who shouted “you can do it” similarly to a crazed man appearing in The Water Boy. A curious phenomenon occurred every time Abby reached a new platform, her complaints and shouts of eminent death increased exponentially. Regardless or her bogus fears, she earned fame for her accomplishments (and hopefully some heartburn from a worried mother).

The day reached its completion in solid form. A number of us went to the local fish market for a variety of interesting and delectable dinners. Most involved some fresh mango (Anacardiacaea family – thank you bob09) and fish. After this is was off to bed in preparation for an exciting day of data analysis (joke).