When I was younger, around ten or something, though I’m not really sure, my family took a trip out to the middle east. One of our stops was to the Dead Sea. The place is almost as cool as its name is dramatic. For those who do not know, the Dead Sea is between Israel and Jordan and is known for its extremely high salt content. In addition to giving the air a unique smell, having an extra salty taste, and killing your eyes, the salt in the water makes you float. Yea, I know, you can float in any sea. Not like this you can’t:
In fact, if you image search something like ‘people floating in the dead sea’ you see tons of people lying and reading newspapers because floating is so simple.
Well, knowing this I approached the water with excitement and anticipation. I took my first couple steps in. Nothing. I got up to my waist and still nothing. In fact, it was terribly anticlimactic as I took steps further int– OH MY GOD, I’M FLOATING! It was an awesome feeling. I had all of the sudden been swept to the surface. Swimming was different too. In an environment where you merely need to propel yourself forward and not be concerned with keeping yourself up, much is possible. I took a couple of minutes floating on my back and spinning around. I was having the time of my life. My parents and brother were too, but they got out before I did to go rest on the beach.
In the distance I saw some buoys connected by rope. Me being me, I decided I would swim to them. I did the breast stroke for a while. I did some doggy paddling for a bit (I was 10, lay off me). I did some back stroke for some time. Finally, after much effort, I reached my goal. But, I was exhausted. Actually, I was extremely exhausted. Though the buoy was not terribly far out, the desert sun and really salty salt water were draining my energy faster than attempting to come up with an appropriate and entertaining analogy. I began my arduous expedition back to shore. My body had never been so tired. I felt as though all life was being sucked out of me. All I could do was continue to put one hand in front of the other and slowly attempt to swim ashore.
I don’t recall calling out to my parents, but as I made it to the shoreline they saw how weak I was. They either helped me walk or carried me to a bench. Giving my brother cash to go buy water for me they asked how I felt. All I could think of was that the buoy was further than I had thought and I was tired. My brother returned with two bottles of water. The frost on the outside of them might have as well been gold to me. Neither of the bottles had any water left in them after I brought them to my lips.
My energy returned to me surprisingly quickly. Within a couple of minutes I was fine to get up and walk around again. My parents did want me to sit a bit longer, but that isn’t terribly like me. I did, however, spend a long while on the beach after that. I had recalled seeing liter water bottles filled with cigarette buds at the entrance. Because the beach was so littered with them, the snorkeling shop offered a free day’s rental to whomever brought them a liter bottle filled. For the next hour or so I walked around collecting buds. A little gross perhaps, but, as I had regained all of my energy, once again my parents were happy with whatever would keep me entertained, a feeling I would imagine most parents can sympathize with.
In the end, we had already paid for our snorkels, but, if I ever go back, I might be able to convince someone that I still have a free rental waiting.