Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So at BaiYun Mountain, the mountain (or "mountain", maybe a hill) in the northern part of GZ, which gives the airport and district its name, has an "extreme sports" area, including a bungee jump. Trever had done it a week or so earlier, and said he had a blast (after aging 1o years!). So the other Thursday I went ahead and did it, with the intent of just jogging up the part of the mountain to the "x-sports" area, checking it off my "China list," and heading back home before I went off to Hainan (see next post). As I signed up to get in the queue, I met some really cool American high school/college students that were studying Mandarin at the South China Univ. of Technology (SCUT, where Faye and Susan go), nearly all of whom were going to jump. So for about an hour I watched, still not nervous. Then one of the students, from Fairbanks, AK, told me about what it was like, and compared it to when he jumped in New Zealand...and that's when my heart started to beat more quickly. Then it was my turn to remove my wallet and shoes, and harness up, on the 50+-foot blue metal plank sticking out of the mountain, with the city in the background and trees far, far below. Techno music playing in the background, the 2 Chinese guys with broken English clicked in my foot-harness and said, "Listen to me. You start, count to 3, hold arms out, go forward. When finish, [demonstrates fastening lift carabiner] and say, 'OK.' Understand?" Then that was it. I stepped out, literally into thin air, asking myself, "Why did I just step into thin air?!?" as my body slowly flipped upside down, while falling 45 meters, then stretching the cable, then springing back up and plunging back down again maybe 6 more times...the whole time flailing my arms like a lunatic. It's all on video! It also gave me horrific dreams of jumping miles over Hong Kong at night, that night on the train to Hainan...but it was so worth it! If you haven't bungee jumped yet, put it on your "bucket list."


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