When I was eighteen, I spent the summer in New Zealand. I spent about a month doing adventuresome stuff like climbing Mount Ruapehu, a then-dormant volcano; bunking in cabins that had previously housed Lord of the Rings crew and hobbits; and Blair Witch-ing it alone in the woods for 24 hours with nothing more than tarp, string, a blanket and some granola. I spent the last month working as a teacher’s aid in a small, private Catholic school. I still have fond memories of the students and the staff.
But I do not have fond memories of bungee jumping. I took a few days off during my teacher’s aid stint and headed off to Taupo with some friends. I was the last one to jump, for reasons I do not remember. I watched them all dive off the platform. Bravely. I remember one friend jumping off the platform as soon as her boots were strapped on. Her arms were spread wide as she flew through the air, à la Superman.
Then I walked to the ledge and looked down. Horrifying. Nauseating. Surreal.
And, of course, the bungee centre had a no-refunds policy. Convenient. The cranky staff woman somehow got me to step off the ledge. I cried all the way down…and up…and down…and up…and down.
Once pulled out of the boots, I ran into my friend’s arms and cried even more. It was a horrible, horrible experience. Why in the world did I think it was a good idea to pay cash to jump off a ledge, attached to a giant elastic band?
So it was with horror that I watched this guy push his girlfriend off the edge of cliff. (She apparently forgives him for it.)by