Tuesday, February 03, 2009
New Zeal + New Zealand
Yes. I haven't blogged in a while. Apologies. I should be consistent. Yes. It's not that difficult. I know. But it's the will that struggles. Excuses, excuses, but let's sincerely hope that this is a new zeal.
I went to New Zealand this winter break! Yes, very cool indeed. My roommate is from New Zealand and I stayed with him and his family for a great five weeks. If they ever do come across this, I sincerely thank them for taking me in. It was an amazing vacation and we did a lot of cool things which you might not want me to rave and rant about. So, I'm gonna make a compromise and talk about just one thing - Bungee Jumping.
We reached "Gravity Canyon". It was somewhere in the middle of nowhere in this city/town-like place in the North Island called Taihape. An 87-meter tall bridge stood in front of us. People were spreading their arms apart and jumping off this bridge with a bungee attached to their feet. Some screamed and yelled and others were too cool for all that. They bounced and bobbled in mid-air and it almost seemed too crazy to be true. Yes, I was scared. But my heart wasn't beating as fast as I thought it would. 87 meters is a long way down, but it seemed safe. The people before me didn't bust their ankles nor did they land head first into the shallow water, killing themselves. That seemed to be comforting enough.
I was sitting somewhere on the bridge, all strapped up, ready to fall under the force of gravity. I looked down. It was a long long way down. I know Dad's scared of heights, but it didn't pass on to me. For some reason, I was more excited than scared and I was loving it. To me, it was my first ever moral victory. I was actually being half-brave, right? The safety officer gave me last minute instructions and did her last minute safety checks. Everything was fine. I stepped up to the jump board.
"Three, two, one...bungee!" she said.
I took a deep breath, spread my arms wide open, smiled and without a second thought, jumped into the open. The three seconds of free fall went away just like that. I then dangled and bounced in mid-air, spinning too many times, and still somehow enjoyed the extreme nature of what I had just done. I then lay their hanging; upside down with blood rushing to my head, yet embracing this truly unique opportunity, unquestionably happy that it had all gone well. I was lowered slowly and the fifty-seconds long experience was over, all too fast. My heart must have obviously been beating way too fast to process anything. Sometimes excessive adrenalin washes everything away, even something you want to remember. The free fall is not even a blur, it's just a feeling I really want to go back to. Not because I loved it or hated it, but because I don't remember it. It just went by too fast. The feeling of accomplishing this relatively daring act seemed to overwhelm the experience itself. I felt bloody good about myself, but on retrospection I feel slightly incomplete. I want to do it again. I need to do it again. And the next time I do it, I'm going to make it a point to remember the air thrashing against my face, the blood bubbling through my veins and the sheer joy of the thrill erupting in my head, or whatever it actually feels like.
I have videos and pictures but they don't translate anything. It's one of those unexplainable feelings that you have to experience to understand. I feel that even the greatest writer cannot explain the thrill, because it's only when the reader resonates with the writing does the piece of writing seem beautiful. If you've bungee jumped, you might be able to relate to this. If you haven't, you must, and then come and read it again. Technology has made something so ridiculously extreme, possible, and in that, almost trivial. Embrace it before it's too late.
P.S. I am going to upload the video on YouTube and will post the link up here when it's processed. I keep looking at it, trying to remember what exactly I must have felt when I was falling. It doesn't really help though.