Archive | February, 2013

5 common things a newbie would bring to his/her Scuba Diving classes

14 Feb
Students preparing for Try Scuba and Confined Water session in swimming pool.

Students preparing for Try Scuba and Confined Water session in swimming pool.

Since Dive Culture started its scuba-diving certification under Scuba Diving International (SDI) late last year, they have been conducting confined-water classes fortnightly in swimming pool in Shah Alam. Click here to find out more on their upcoming classes. It is always a nice feeling meeting with new and enthusiastic people who are eager to either learn to scuba dive or simply to get a feel of scuba diving. Reminded me of myself almost 10 years ago where I go diving almost every weekend after being newly certified and talk about the newly discovered fascination of the underwater world. I’d be bringing my gears with me on my business trips should there be any diving spots nearby. After having two babies, I’m still gleaming to see the compressor and tanks every morning in the room downstairs and waiting patiently for our next family scuba-diving trip. The best part is, I could still fit into my 1st wetsuit I bought and all the equipment I bought 10 years ago are still in good working condition. I’ll write a post on this topic soon. For now, these are the 5 common things I’ve observed on a newbie when he/she goes for scuba-diving classes:

Jebeh in skeleton rashguard. Photo by Ariffin Aris.

Jebeh in skeleton rashguard. Photo by Ariffin Aris.

Numero UNO : Really funky new set of swimming attire. The ladies have nice tankinis, muslimah swimming attire or rash guard while the men in rash guard and board shorts. It is really cute when you see a bunch of them actually went shopping together to get a similar brand and design to mark their new hobby adventure. Wetsuit is not necessary as Malaysia’s water is warm. You’d need one once you are certified.

Numero DOS : Camera. Something you should never come without. Those without underwater housing will be snapping away before they get into the water, while some invested or even rented in decent underwater cameras such as the Nikon Coolpix AW100, GoPro Hero3 and iGills. I love them so much as they are so light, compact (compared to Ipin’s Nexus underwater housing for his Nikon D3) and can do both; still photo and video. iGills for iPhone function as dive computer as well. You so have to check this gadget out!

This is almost like a must-have gadget for scuba-divers with iPhone :) I've tried it and loved it!

This is almost like a must-have gadget for scuba-divers with iPhone 🙂 I’ve tried it and loved it!

Numero TRES : Sunscreen. It is OK to apply it during confined-water session in swimming pool but you may want to leave it out once you start doing open-water session in the sea. I personally find that tanned skin is beautiful…natural beauty 🙂 p/s- there are some researches done and they found out that the sunscreen is harmful towards the corals. Let us all be a responsible scuba diver.

Numero CUATRO : Pills and nasal spray. Some find it necessary as they are experiencing flu, sinus or even motion sickness. It is very important to clear the breathing passage before diving in or you’ll have difficulties equalizing the ear pressure as you decent underwater. If your condition is not critical, my advise is to have enough rest and sleep prior to every dive. They will not call scuba diving as EXTREME sports for no reason. It is every scuba diver’s responsibility to take every safety steps and precaution to reduce your injury (internal AND external) risks.Try to opt for warm honey lemon tea drink and melaleuca or eucalyptus balm on nose area to clear blocked nose. You’ll find equalizing process a breeze underwater. Try it!

I like her Rash guard - simple & nice. Photo taken by Azri Hisyam using Canon G10 with underwater housing.

I like her Rash guard – simple & nice. Photo taken by Azri Hisyam using Canon G10 with underwater housing.

Numero CINCO : Sunglasses and a lot of positive attitude. It is all about having fun in the sun 🙂 When you look good, everybody is feeling happy and you’ll master all the underwater skills in a jiffy. Some of the safety steps may sound so simple but it’ll determine Life OR Death in an underwater situation. Stay calm and welcome to the underwater world!

50/50 photo of Pulau Bidong taken by Ariffin Aris.

50/50 photo of Pulau Bidong taken by Ariffin Aris.

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Rights and Responsibilities

8 Feb

My late grandfather was a great politician during the World Wars in Tanah Melayu. He was a great leader even during his school days in Malay College Kuala Kangsar. His charisma & leadership talent was passed down to all his sons, who also went to MCKK and some of my cousin brothers, where one is actively involved in politics until today. I have seen the goods and the bads of politics in the family, community and the nation. Regardless, I’m still proud of what they have achieved and thank them for the encouragement they have given me when I was young. I took up a few leadership roles in school and even went to school with some of our great leaders and politicians today. Somehow I decided to stay away from politics when I entered University. Like what Peter Paker said “Great power comes with great responsibilities”.

Fight for Women to vote

Fight for Women to vote

When I was a child, my family members labeled me as ‘busybody’ due to my inquisitiveness. That was the time I get to listen to ‘fighting for rights’ like rights for the girls to go to school and ‘struggle for independence’ stories from the elders. All my grandmothers were the privileged few to be able to attend schools during the 1930s and 1940s. I like history. It makes us more appreciative of what we have today. I try to read more too but it is always not good enough. Only stupids make mistakes repetitively. The general election is coming soon and I have something to say to those who still feel that ignorance is bliss.

You are pretty darn lucky to be born after Malaysia has reached independence. The peace and the development that we are enjoying right now are from our grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ hardwork, regardless whether they are Malays or non-Malays. It might only take you some traveling to some of our neighboring countries to witness and experience how it feels like to live in fear, poverty and denied access to education and healthcare. When a citizen does not have much rights in anything, let alone to vote – that is pretty devastating isn’t it? We even have some Malaysians, under certain situation who are not allowed or be able to vote. So if you are eligible, please register and vote. You won’t feel the pain until your right is revoked.

It just makes me sad to hear and watch some Malaysians who refuse to register and feels that their one vote will not make much difference or worse, feels that all political parties are corrupted – non deserve to lead the government. My instant respond to that will be “then why not YOU lead? YOU make the change?”. These people are university graduates, who were given education scholarships, grants & assistance to start-up their businesses and sometimes wonder are they not grateful? If you do not know which one to vote, stop listening to people and start reading and do your own research. You would then know what is good and what is bad and whom you could entrust your hope with. Your voting right IS a big responsibility too as a citizen.

Cast your vote!

Cast your vote!

I’m beginning to notice this ungratefulness in my own children and many more children of today. Toys are destroyed within days of purchase and foods are wasted. Cool toys, delicious food, quality books, latest technology and perfect holidays are something expected and the ‘rights’ as children from ‘good’ parents. Some parents provided all these to compensate the time they lost from spending with their children. How many of them are taught to earn these goodies? We can start by asking them to do some simple house chores or even sell kuih or cookies to close friends and family members? I know a family where their children will organize a mini-concert at home where close friends and family members are required to buy concert tickets. The children will then play their organs, piano, guitar and violin. How cool and encouraging is that? Aufa has started selling his cookies and muffins to buy his toys but when it comes to spending his money, he’ll try to talk to us into using our money instead because “Aufa wants to save more money and buy a bigger house with swimming pool for us, Mama”.