Monthly Archives: March 2015

Like Andrew W.K., I Get Wet

After leisurely stepping off the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere earlier in the day I decided do something else that I would get the adrenaline flowing: bungy jumping.

At this point in my life I had only dreamed of doing such a thing – I hadn’t even been sky diving yet – and I knew that before I left New Zealand that I would have to bungy.

I remembered, from by brief chat with the Sky Jump employee atop the Sky Tower, that the Auckland Harbour Bridge had a bungy platform. After my jump, I went back to my room to drop off a few things and to pick up a map. I gave it a slight glance over and then decided that all I needed to do was follow the road that led to the bridge. I left the map in my room, grabbed my camera and jacket and began my trek.

About 40 minutes later, I arrived at the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland Harbour Bridge

From that shot you can’t even tell that there’s a bungy platform. It looks like a very normal bridge…that people jump off.

After watching an informational/safety video and being strapped into my harness, it was time to walk out. It was a very easy walk that wasn’t painful at all. Looking down at the blue water was rather relaxing and, in all honesty, the drop didn’t look that daunting from there. 40m didn’t look that bad at all. Didn’t being the operative word.

Bungy Drop

That was until I started watching the other people in my group jump and I stuck my neck over the ledge and saw the water below. Yeah…it was further than I thought.

When it was my turn, I sat in a chair and laughed nervously as they strapped my feet in and checked my weight with that of the corresponding bungy tether. That’s when a strange question was asked.

“Do you wanna get wet mate?” He asked with a pleasant Kiwi accent.

“Uh, wet?”

“Yeah! You wanna touch the water?”

I paused. I thought that this may be the only time I am ever going to be in Auckland so I better go big or go home.

“Yeah! Like, this (pointing to my chest) high.”

He laughs “Yeah! Alright, we’ll get you wet!”

Next thing I know, I’m inching my way to the lip of the platform and the instructor is telling me to keep my arms atop my head like I’m diving because it will make an easier transition into the water. AKA my head won’t slap the water on impact.

Bungy Wave

They began to count down and once they got to two I stopped them, took a deep breath and then told them to start it up again. The countdown continued and once they got to one they yelled “BUNGY!” and I jumped.

My hands were above my head, my eyes transfixed on the water below getting closer and closer, the wind whirred by my ears and then SPLASH! The icy cold glacier-runoff water that was the Auckland Harbour completely surrounded me and then I shot out just as soon as I got in.

Bungy

I didn’t end up going in chest deep. I went in thigh deep.

As I slowed down and dangled above the water, slowly dripping, a man in a jet ski rode underneath me, gave me a thumbs up and said “Awesome jump!”

Awesome jump, indeed.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Getting High In Auckland

If there’s one thing you need to know about me, if you don’t already, it’s that I like to get high.

Literally, high.

Wherever and whenever possible I seek out the highest point(s) in a city and make it my mission to get to the top. Most of the time I’m successful, except for that one time I tried to go up the SkyTree in Tokyo only to be told that it was too windy but I still made my way to another observation deck elsewhere in the city. Every time though, it’s worth the trip.

Auckland was do different.

Auckland Skyline

The central tower in the city skyline is the Sky Tower. It’s the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere standing at 1,076ft (328m) tall. The tower itself is a part of the SKYCITY Casino down closer to the ground. But for those looking for less of a gamble and more adrenaline, look up.

The SkyJump, at 192m, is a thrilling base jump experience unlike anything else. Similar to my Bloukrans bungy experience, I can say that the ride up was probably the worst part. I was put into an elevator and as I looked around I saw a square cut out of the floor and that square was filled with glass or plastic so that as the elevator climbed I could see the ground floor. The once bright white light that shone through became a dim afterthought once I was at the top.

When it was finally my turn to step onto the platform and jump I made the mistake of looking down. Big mistake, huge. I gripped the side railing like it was my lifeline as I inched out to the ledge. As I was being strapped and buckled in I looked down and saw a giant mat with a target printed on it at the bottom. That wasn’t much better…

To take the edge off I began to chat with the instructor. I asked her about local landmarks, the Auckland Harbour and what I should do/see next. She pointed out a few things to me and then she said that it was time to jump.

Sky tower

She then explained to me that as soon as I jumped I would be stopped and I would need to look up and give a thumbs up, because they were going to take another photo of me dangling above the city…charming…but exhilarating.

sky tower 2

Then came the descent.

Falling at speeds upwards of 85kph (52mph), the buildings grew around me and the once distant sounds of the city enveloped me once again as I landed on the mat. The instructor at the bottom unhooked me and said “We have some time before our next group arrives, would you like to go again for free?”

As if I’d say no…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Jaw With John” – Finally Get Involved Face To Face

We are a group of six women who have been friends (co-workers first) for over 20 years. Some are married, some with grandchildren, and all are retired/semi-retired.

For the last few years, one member of our group has become nearly impossible to reach via phone (no computer/email/cell), and when any of us leaves a voice mail, our calls are seldom returned, with either no reason or some vague or lame excuse (if any) as to why.

She claims her friends are very important, but we are finding that hard to believe. She makes plans with us for lunch, dinner, plays, etc., but often does not show up or calls to say she won’t be joining us. What can we do? — Upset Friends

Dear Upset:

You say she’s a good friend and yet you can’t take the time to actually go over to her home and see her in person? That sounds to me like the best option to see what’s really going on behind closed doors.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Jaw With John” – Not Enough Cooks In The Kitchen

My husband, children and I moved in with my in-laws. It has been a learning experience. The hardest part is that my mother-in-law cooks with old, sometimes moldy produce and expired canned goods.

I have gotten sick a few times and it’s just not OK with me. I’m not “allowed” to say anything because it could “hurt her feelings.”

My mother-in-law is always treated with kid gloves, and no one allows anything negative to be said to her, so I would be “completely out of line” if I said anything.

We alternate cooking dinner, so at least I get clean food half the time. What do you suggest I do or say so that I’m not forced into eating rancid food while not looking like a monster? — Scared To Eat

Dear Scared:

Look at it this way: this could be the best diet ever!

Perhaps if you were to spew while you’re eating and then bring up the fact that it was because of the rancid produce it could change her perception on her cooking. That’s a visceral image and if it were to happen multiple times – not all by you or else you’d damage your esophagus – then I’m preeeeeetty sure she’d get the message.

Or, you could just throw out the expired foods before she got to them and when she comes around asking about them you’d tell her you threw them out because they had expired. From there you could go to the market and find some stuff you both like/will eat. Or she’ll blow up at you and kick you out or whatever…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Jaw With John” – Boss Forgot To Log Out

I recently discovered, by accident, something very personal and private about my boss. While I understand this discovery reveals a personal lifestyle choice for him, I am grossed out and disgusted by his choices.

I am also very angry with my boss for putting me in a position of stumbling across this information. It was available on a company computer that he was fully aware I had access to.

The other side to this is that I have always respected and admired him and I realize that he is, in fact, not a different person — just my perception of him has changed.

I guess I am looking for advice on how to handle my thoughts and actions toward him, now that I know what I know. — Wish I Didn’t Know

Dear Wish:

It’s clearly not illegal, or else you’d have gone to the police. But it’s, like you said, “a personal lifestyle choice” and it should be dealt with as such. You can, discretely, let him know that he left his computer logged in to his account and you saw whatever it was that you saw. It could get awkward or it could be a bonding moment as he could have an explanation for it (highly doubtful). Either way, the only thing is certain is that now that you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,