The other night, I went to the Hard Rock Cafe, where this diving magazine was having some event. This event was so exclusive you could only get an invite if you had internet access at home, went online, entered your phone number, and received an SMS with an authorisation code which you then had to show to the magazine’s people at the door, so they could give you a piece of paper that entitled you to one free drink. Or, you had to be a bona fide card-carrying diver. And if you were, the magazine’s people at the door would make you complete a four page long survey form before they gave you that piece of free drink paper.
So before I went to the HRC, I went online, entered my phone number and waited with bated breath for my free drink authorisation code SMS, and as you can imagine, I was beside myself when I received it.
Like everyone else, I have some diver friends, so I wasn’t without familiar company. I waited for my diver friends for an hour, and then for another half hour while they shared a pen to complete their four page survey form. Then for another two while they swapped diving location stories. Then I got a word in sideways and I sez to them, ‘can we order some food now?’. Good thing my diver friends were hungry too.
During and after food, me and my diver friends mingled with other divers, and I was asked more than once where my last dive trip was, and I answered the same number of times that I didn’t dive, never dove, never could dive, because I preferred being on the surface.
You don’t know what you’re missing, they all tell me. I tell them I know, and I will join the Cult of the Underwater Breathing Apparatus Users as soon as I’m good and ready with some spare cash. Like every other cult and their members, they are thrilled to hear this, but their excitement suddenly wears off when I tell them I think this event is the only way engineers and IT CONsultants can get discounted drinks at nightspots (show your diver card and get 20% off, woohoo) because I didn’t think there was a single nightspot that had an Engineers Night or IT Consultants Night. Hey, joke only lah, I also not Law or Media or Finance whaaat.
There was another bunch of diver types discussing what make and model of camera was suited for underwater use. Something about allowing closer focus distance or something, then they showed me some snapshots they took of themselves underwater in Manado, Sipadan and other such like underwater diving places. I told them they could juggle positions in all the group photos and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. I’m the one with the green mask, one of them said.
I wasn’t making many new friends, so I sauntered across the floor to this table with several computers showing video clips of underwater fauna and flora. There were two girls there, and one of them chatted with me for a bit, telling me about underwater fauna and flora and where they could be found in and around Singapore (erm, underwater?). Next thing I know, I bought a brochure for $2.50 called ‘Guidesheet to the amazing marine life of the southern shores of Singapore’. Pretty wordy title, but chock full of pictures and interesting bits of information, like the legends of Pulau Hantu, Sisters, St John’s and Kusu Islands, as well as bits about how you can still go see coral reefs and reef flats without as much as touching scuba gear, and in Singapore too.
Must go already lah. Who’s game?