Sunday, May 30, 2010

40 Meters Fall

Three days ago I dipped my hand in the Dnieper River in Kiev, Ukraine. That arm was connected to my body. My body was connected to two sets of harnesses and a chain around my ankles. That chain around my ankles was attached to a huge bungi cord, which was in turn attached to the end of a crane 40 meters above the water. I was upside down when my arm entered the water. I went bungi-jumping in Ukraine.

I figured I'd meet death regardless. Death by regret for not having done it. Death upon impact from faulty equipment. Death from my mother for having done it. I chose death by mother.

It was the most amazing feeling in the world. Fear mingled with excitement, mingled with peer pressures, mingled with fear. Lots of fear. We met a man named Edwin (from Holland) who had bungi jumping gear. We paid the man 300 dollars--signed no waivers, recieved no instructions beforehand, other than, "When I say 'three', you jump". His wife strapped me into the multiple harnesses, asked me repeatedly if I was sure I wanted to keep my shirt on (I didn't want to risk any hard feelings between me and Edwin at this point) and sent me off to the lift. We rode up 40 meters and as he guided me to the edge, I finally realized what I was doing. I looked out over Kiev and down at the insanely far water below. Luckily I was still drugged enough by peer pressure and a thirst for adventure to strike a superman pose and throw myself off the edge. I yelled, "I'm the king of the world" on the way down. I ate multiple bugs on the way down and splashed in to the water before being propelled back upward in the most delightful, lightweighted flight I'll ever get to take. An older man with hairy thighs in short-shorts extended a pool-cleaning pole out to me after I had dangled for a while and let me down on shore.

Ukraine has been good to me. I took a midnight swim in the Dnieper River Friday with friends while fireworks lit up the sky. I leave for Paris tomorrow, Switzerland soon after, and then Germany before returning home. Cheers.



    Have you lost your mind!!??? ;)

    Let me tell you how I feel about doing these things in other countries. See, I know in the US we have certain safety standards. But in other countries you never just know. So when I lived in China, I always kept this in mind. Sometimes when I got on an elevator, 50 other people packed in with me so close that I might have needed to confess to the Bishop. If the elevator alarm sounded because there was too much weight, I was the first one to volunteer to get off. I don't know, is your mother big enough to still give you a spanking?

  2. Well written, Ryan! I quite enjoyed reading that experience. And good luck with your Mom!

  3. "I'm the king of the world!" That's classic, Ryan. Timeless.

  4. Hi Ryan. I will say nothing, except, you are crazy! theeee end!