New Zealand is widely known as the capital of extreme sports, and rightfully so.
I tell ya, those Kiwis are a bunch of crazy people.
When Malaysians have nothing else better to do, we watch a DVD, maybe play Counterstrike or write a blog. When Kiwis have nothing else better to do, those nutcases find an excuse to perform death-defying stunts like hiking through Antartica or jumping off a bridge for thrills.
The popular "extreme sport" known as bungy jumping, is in fact first commercialised by a New Zealander by the name of AJ Hackett.
Most of you guys probably don't know this, but I am actually quite a pro in extreme sports. And by extreme sports, I mean gliding down the slide in a kid's playground.
Since I've travelled all the way to New Zealand, capital of extreme sports and home of commercialised bungy jumping, I figured why not give this easy little game a shot.
And what better place for my first bungy jump than at Auckland Harbour Bridge, the landmark icon of the City of Sails.
Bungy jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge costs NZD85/RM208 per person, which is pretty expensive considering what I'm about to put myself through. The fun begins as soon as I was suited up with a very tight harness.
Suddenly I feel like I about to engage in S&M activities.
Anyway, we were led to AJ Hackett's purpose-built bungy jump pod, located about 10 minutes from their office underneath the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
The walk to the top was actually quite pleasant, if not for the fact that IT IS A VERY FAR WAY TO THE BOTTOM.
I never had a problem with a fear of height. But watching the water flow beneath the bridge is very different to knowing that you're about to jump all the way down in a few minutes.
I looked down to the water. We were at least 40 metres up. That's the height of a 15-storey high building. That's like jumping off and freefalling from the top of Hilton Kuching.
By the time we reached the platform, I know there's no turning back. At this point, I feel really stupid for paying over RM200 just to jump down a bridge.
There's five of us, and the jumping order was decided in the order of decreasing weight. The instructor wrote our weight on our hand with red marker pen, which is really sad because for the rest of the day I had to walk around Auckland with my weight clearly written on my hand.
Insultingly, I was the heaviest among the group. That means I got to go first. *#%*&$&%$%!!
There's nothing much I could do. All I did was sit there and letting him suit me up.
I was scared. No, I was terrified. In fact, I was pissing my pants. And there's no toilet around.
Before I know it, I was teteering at the edge of the jumping platform, the instructor was holding onto my harness. And then he went "5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - GO!"
Just click to watch the video. Words cannot do this justice.
All I remember was that my veins were pumping as I stood on the ledge. I remember letting out a good scream, and as I jumped, my heart almost jumped out from my mouth. I remember reaching out to touch the icecold river water, then spinning and spinning aimlessly in midair as I waited for them to haul me up.
What I don't remember is, WHY THE HELL AM I PAYING MONEY TO DO THIS?!
One thing for sure, the adrenaline rush I experienced was absolutely incredible.
Afterwards, we went back to the office and I was further raped by AJ Hackett for a set of photos and DVD costing NZD60 / RM147. In the end, I spent a total of about RM350 for my first bungy jump, and it was worth every single cent of it.
Best of all, I even got a certificate to prove myself.
Well, bungy jumping may not be everyone's cup of tea, but this is one exhilarating activity that comes 100% recommended from me. We lived only once, so might as well make full use of it yea?
Bungy jumping is fun.
It's like committing suicide. Without dying.