Island bowling

“Island bowling”, you’re probably visualizing rolling coconuts down the beach and knocking over empty beer bottles. Not quite, island bowling on Ko Tao is more civilised, although very different from the automated developed first world.

On Saturday night my dive school had a 10 pin bowling shin dig for a couple of the graduating DMT’s (Dive master trainees – what I’m doing). It was a pretty classic experience. With bowling you’re use to having a machine reset your pins. But on an island you don’t have that luxury, so instead of a machine you have a lowly paid Burmese guy that sits behind the pins and resets them after your bowl. Then he rolls the ball back down a declining metal frame to the start of the lane.

And remember this is Thailand as well, so the Burmese fella has to be on their toes as there is no safety netting protecting them from stray bowling balls and flying pins! All you can see in the darkness behind the pins is the white teeth of the Burmese guy glistening in the UV light. Sometimes your lucky and the Burmese fella will knock one of the pins over for you.

It was a cool night, and from the photo below you will see the dive master graduation is a very prestigious event. The last prerequisite before graduating is called the “snorkel test”. This is where your instructor pours foul tasting cheap Thai alcohol into a cut off plastic bottle that is taped to a snorkel. And you the graduating DM has to drink this down whilst wearing a blacked out dive mask, that makes it hard to drink as you can’t breathe through your nose. For those of you who were at my 21st for my yardie attempt, you can imagine how much I’m looking forward to doing this – ummmmm NO.