A couple of weeks ago, a fellow blogger put up a post on a random muse-full Monday and in it, highlighted her desire to go skydiving. Subsequently, on the Whatsapp group we both belong in, this was discussed, even going as far as suggesting that she not only sky dives, but try skydiving aerial photography – that was pretty much the first time it seriously occurred to me that some people actually skydive alongside the original skydiver, just (and only) to take those pics.
Anyway, I’m not here to talk about skydiving.
The post and conversation actually made me remember one of my ‘in-the-air’ experiences and I felt it could make a good read (I pray I’m right). So here goes…
It was sometime in 2015, January to be precise. I had just gotten married and honeymooned in the beautiful city of Dubai. I was happy (obviously) to be in Dubai again and in the mood for some serious fun.
After some other activities, we went to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. Fun activities were lined up literally in every direction you turned. But our eyes were on the main prize – the formula rossa, then (and still, I think) the fastest roller coaster in the world reaching speeds of 240 km/hr in 5 seconds. We were pumped!. So after dilly dallying a bit, taking in sights of the whole place, we made our way there.
As we got to the section, the excitement that spurred me on evaporated. There was this LONG LINE. For someone who hates queues as much as I do, I almost turned back at that point. It was really long… longer than those immigration lines at the most disorganized International airport I can think of (Does MMA come to mind anyone? No?). It was long… wait, I think I can do a quick sketch…
There you go.
So yes, I almost turned back. But our determination and anticipated thrill erased our dismay and we progressed to the back of the line. We chatted casually while we waited. I quickly noticed that the line seemed to be moving fast. I didn’t understand why (you’ll know why later) but was pleased. It was the fastest moving longest line I had ever seen. Wait, fastest longest moving…. Longest fastest moving… errm, well, you get.
Soon it was almost our turn. We smiled, watching batch upon batch of thrill seekers gear up, get strapped in, take pictures and wheeeeeee as the rides sped away… and then suddenly appear at the other end.
These rides don’t last long though.
I frowned, a little upset as it seemed the rides lasted less than a minute. This explained how and why the lines moved so quickly. I didn’t like this. I wanted my money’s worth! I didn’t come here for a short ride. Are we playing here?
Then it was our turn.
As I strapped in beside Amie, I pushed the disappointment aside. I planned to enjoy every second of it.
I’ll join the line again, worse worse!
Finally, we were strapped in and ready to go. We all posed for pictures and were chatting animatedly. And then it began.
We cheered as we took off, slowly at first.
We cheered as we gained speed, hands in the air in glee.
The cheers reduced as we gained some more speed. Some hands went down.
And then… we reached the tip of the slope…
And then… and then…
I’m looking for the right words to express this.
First of all (go down low), we were like reeeeeeally high up in the air. Yes, I am an adrenaline junky, but nothing prepared me for the sharp drop (with speed o….with speed!), the winding and turning and upside-downing.
I went from… Yaaaaaaay (excitement) to Yeeeeeeeey (what is going on here?) to Argghhhhhhhh (who sent me oooo?) to Oh my GOD!!!!, to silence. You know that silence that overcomes you when you start thinking of your life, seeing the flashbacks and wondering how you got here, why your favourite colour is blue and then start pondering on other deep things in the universe.
Unfortunately, my mind then wandered to the movie Final Destination.
I was just there thinking.
Is this how someone will just die like that?
What if my head hits one of these metal thingies and I fall off?
Did the maintenance guy check all the screws today?
When will this ride end?
God, please forgive me.
Let it end. Let it end!!!
I’ve not even started enjoying my marriage? Who send me message?
Speaking of marriage, I eventually remembered that my wife was beside me. I managed to open one eye to see her, eyes closed, screaming.
You’re on your own on this one babe, only God can help us up here.
The whole less-than-a-minute ride, which felt like thirty minutes, eventually slowed down and came to a stop. Everyone started laughing in relief almost at the same time. Earlier, I couldn’t understand why the people coming out of the rides were laughing… now I knew.
Some folks (white obviously) were still pumped and excitedly made their way back to the line. I just watched them go. What’s my own? In my mind was like: