This weekend I probably did one of the more stupid things in my life. In the next town over from Qinhuangdao is a type of amusement park called Jiofa. And at this amusement park they have bungee jumping. My friends James and Ben had done it earlier in the year and had mentioned doing it and I thought it would be fun to do.
After taking the bus out to the Jiofa Amusement park we went straight to the bungee jump platform. Now I am not the biggest fan of highest but I am also not the biggest scaredy cat out there. But looking up at the platform I knew it was a little higher than my liking.
My friend Justin agreed to jump with me, but when we went to pay for it we were immediately denied. Apparently there was a 90 kilo weight limit. Being big guys, they thought that we were too big but we really wanted to jump so we asked if we could step on a scale. Justin was over the limit but I came in just under the 90 kilos at a whopping 89 kilos. Just enough to jump. (I know, I know. I’m getting fat, but I would like to think it is mostly muscle).
Ask I walked up the tower I got more and more nervous. It was so tall and it seemed like the stairs would never stop going up. It was about 9-10 stories high Once we did reach the top of the tower I had to walk out onto the platform which was maybe 50 feet away from the tower.
As I made it to the end of the platform they had me sit down so that they could get me ready to jump. First they made sure I had nothing in my pockets. Then they started to wrap cello tape around my body, first around my waist and then around my ankles and shoes. I guess they didn’t want anything falling off during the jump. After that they attached two ankle straps to my legs. I thought that they would attach this whole contraption on my body but they didn’t, just two simple ankle straps. (Like I wasn’t nervous already). Finally they attached the bungee cord to my ankle straps and brought me to the edge.
One the way to the amusement park and when my feet were still touching the ground I was pretty confident that I would be able to do it with problem, but when they brought me to the edge I froze with fear. Looking down at the river below I realized for the first time how high up I was and I also realized that the only thing holding me were two ankle straps. I also was thinking that I was pushing the limits with how fat I have become, plus I am doing this in China and what were the safety regulations like here, is it truly safe?
I stood on the edge for what felt like forever. They must have counted down for me twice but I didn’t/couldn’t jump. Finally the guy gave me a little push and that gave me the courage to jump.
It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I don’t understand why people do this for fun. It felt like I was going to have a heart attack from all the adrenaline. Even when I got back on solid ground my legs were shaking. I now know that if I was ever to commit suicide I would not jump off a building.
After I bungee jumped we tried to find something that all of us could do so we found this mini motorcycles and rode around the park. Of course I had the slowest one but it was still enjoyable.
They also had a little zoo at the amusement park. Now I am by no means a hard core animal rights activist, as proven by the fact that I killed a pigeon, but the conditions at this zoo were absolutely horrendous. The animals were filthy and they were all tied to steaks in the ground with metal chains. But TIC (this is China) and I guess this is how it goes.
All in all it was an exciting day. As I was walking home I realized that I had horrible burns on my ankles from the ankle straps when I bungee jumped. Bungee jumping is one of those things I am glad I did but will never do again. It was just too nerve racking.