Thursday, May 7, 2009

Like a Fairy Tale Come True

It was like a fairy tale come true. But there was no gallant horse. No seven dwarves. No valiant prince. There was only me and my dream.

Just a taste of my dream. A dream of flying in my sleeping and waking hours. Nothing fascinates me more.

And this is not figuratively speaking. This is the literal soaring in the air like an ethereal being. Like I am one with the air. Like I am one with the world, yet isolated from it.

Defying gravity. Keeping my feet off the ground. Reaching the skies. Being in the sky. Far more richer than the most expensive gold. Far more simpler than the dying of the rose.

This is the Macau Tower. The viewing deck, at the 61st floor, is 233 m above the ground. If you are an Amazing Race fan, you would recognize this tower. Also in this floor, AJ Hackett, the one who "discovered" bungy jumping, offers the time of your life: Mast Climb, Bungy Jump, SkyJump, and Skywalk X.

When we went to Macau last February, all I expected was to see casinos, casinos, casinos. Not that I would play, but because I am ignorant to assume that Macau is just that (I am partly blaming advertising). So while driving at a street, our host there pointed to us the tower, and as if tempting me, I saw someone jumping from it! The moment I saw someone jumped, I got so excited, and this without knowing whether the tower would be part of the itinerary (sabit lang ako, e).

I knew right then and there that I also want to jump from the tower. As if the universe was conspiring to let me take my chance, we went to the tower to have lunch. While at lunch, I already presented the idea to my companions that I would like to try jumping. After minutes of convincing (I was deliberating on the price) and telling my father in the Philippines that I "might" jump, I decided that I definitely must try it. I never felt so much gratitude on having a credit card. After a swipe, I am off to the 61st floor alone. Only I want to do this.

At the top of the tower, it was really cold, much colder than I am used to here in Manila. There were different nationalities there, and all of them were in groups. While waiting for my turn, I explored the 61st floor, looking down on the ground, looking at the clouds, and looking up at the sky. I was neither nervous nor afraid. I was ecstatic. I felt like a child who just received her first bike.

Once you jump, you automatically becomes a member of their club, and along with it are discounts to various stores. I wonder if I can ever use this again. But the best part is, if I decide to come back and jump once again, it would be on a discounted price. :)

They gave me this certification, along with a T-shirt and a baller (pics to follow), to remind me of that wonderful night and to allow me to ask, "Do you have what it takes?"

This is the 10th tallest tower and the highest jump facility in the world. As I waited for more than an hour, I got a bit bored. I had no camera or anything with me because you should not have anything in you if you would jump. I was alone in the tower so no one can hold my things. They were waiting for me at the bottom of the tower, with their cameras (and prayers for my safety) ready. I chose SkyJump instead of Bungy as it resembled more the flying stance. I wanted to see the world from above, and not just fall fast on it.

While standing on the ledge, I just wanted to feel the coldness of the air and to look down on the world. It was already evening then, and Macau was filled with lights. There were buildings on one side, and a river on the other. It was a beautiful view, as if it was really the right time to see everything all at once.

One, two, and my feet were off the ledge and into the thin air. No hesitation. They stopped the wire to take pictures, and I was just there, hanging, nothing on my feet, hundred meters above the ground. If I could just take the cable off. When I look down, I cannot see the ground yet. It was foggy and it was night. I felt like I could stay there forever, but I also wanted to continue my "voyage."

And as I go down, I savored every second and every scene, memorizing every picture that I see, even the passing cars on the bridge. It seemed forever, and it seemed an instant. It was like a fairy tale come true. A little taste of my dream. And it ached that it wasn't real. But nothing and no one can stop me from dreaming.

(see also plight of flight)