|Everything and Nothing|
Youth Day started out like any other Public Holiday…slight hangover, out of bed at 8, showered and ready, Twitter, Facebook and a cup of tea…because I’m good like that!
What made this day a little more visceral than most was the fact that I would be jumping off a suspended bridge which evidently hangs between two towers…made of flimsy wood and concrete might I add…yes – Orlando Towers Bungee Jumping – sounds, stupid, is stupid, is awesome! Now, many of you might not know this about me, but I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie, which doesn’t mean I go skipping around on a super-bike nor does it mean that I wrestle crocodiles for fun on the weekend – that’s my day job and it’s getting kind of boring – but what it does mean is that I will never back out of a crazy challenge, will always want to go higher and faster and will always be the guys to attempt to “freak you out” just before…because, you know, I’m good like that!
Apart from the mind-blowing anticipation of hurling myself off a flimsy bridge somewhere in Soweto…it was Youth Day and therefore decided we should do the jump in our (or whatever we could find) school uniforms – okay, it was just the blazers – mine, no where to be seen and my 61kg-in-Matric-at-the-time-brother’s blazer would have torn from my shoulders in a Hulk-like fashion if I attempted to scratch my nose – so I went in my old jersey which was honestly the only shred of evidence I ever attended that school!
Okay, Okay…I kid the nostalgic people…I’m a hoarder so I still have everything…even my old study notes from Matric finals…what a nerd! But, the blazer…no where to be seen…wasn’t going to stop me from jumping though…so off we went!
Arriving at the “jump site”, I was surprised to see the set up they had actually constructed…”hey, it seems kosher…” a friend utters to me on the side. Yes, because I’m concerned about my Yiddish heritage round about now…have you seen how high that f-ing thing is? I want to say to him while clasping my hands around his neck – no really – it always seems higher than what it is from the ground up…foreshortening and all that I thought to myself. (Nevermind the view from up there…yoh!)
After signing my life away via the Indemnity Form, we were weighed and sent on our way to continue to anticipate ourselves to death. “Strapping up” gave me the most visceral sense of nostalgia…yes, nostalgia…it’s true…I have had an assisted-attempted-no-so-much-suicidal jump before and not so previously jumped Victoria Falls Bridge before (2008)…let it be known…but the feeling was unmistakable and truly brings reality home!
Have I mentioned that upon arrival, we were greeted by a film crew from FIFA? No…oh…well, listen to this…this crew have been trawling the South African cultural and activity based hot-spots since last week, documenting some of the greatest sights, sounds and activities to do in South Africa – not specifically during the World Cup – but as a constant gem that every South African should be able to share…
Yeah…so they were Poms yeah…*stop it*…can’t help but mimic an accent when I hear it – strange brain.
One of our seemingly “fearless crew” even got microphone up – I declined upon initial offer as I’m suprised at 90% of the things that come from out of my mouth and I assured them that damn near everything I said would have to be *bleeped* out…or *beeped* out…or…you *beeping* get it right? Yeah…*snort*
Right…! Did I also mention it was freezing…supposedly this week will have the lowest registered mean temperatures since June 1994 and we all remember what that was like — NOT! — I kid the fogies…! I remember being this cold, but it wasn’t in this country…it wasn’t even in this hemisphere…! To make matters worse, we ascended the incredible convex then concave watering tower as angles that would have made Michael “Smooth Criminal” lean look pitiful! At the top – what a view – it was literally breathtaking and ignoring the fact that we couldn’t see Soccer City from up top due to the Mine Dump, it was incredible to be experiencing such unadulterated glee…appropriately on Youth Day!
Jumping Vic Falls was good…thinking back to it, I can’t picture the ground or the sides of the canyon as I went down, all I can picture and remember quite vividly was the sight of the bridge at my feet as I bounced back up! “The Leap of Faith” was exhilarating, even more than Vic Falls (111m free fall) because of…the ground rush…yes, watching the ground come screaming up directly at your face as you hurtle towards the ground…it’s insane…but such a rush…a complete and utter natural high!
After landing and the celebratory hugs and high-fives, we headed off to a “Shisanyama”…feel bad for not remembering the correct spelling – will correct it later if I have referenced it wrong! So apologies in advance! For writing purposes, I will call it an “eatery” – now, I don’t want to hear the, “Oh, I’ve been to Wandies Place bro, I know all about it”…shut up, because you don’t…I can honestly say that I have not been to an more rural establishment in my life…AND without taking a breath I can say, with complete and utter confidence that every single South African should pay a visit to that “eatery”.
Youth Day on 16 June in South Africa commemorates the start of the Soweto Riots of 1976, initially sparked by a government edict that all instruction in black schools would be held in Afrikaans. The iconic picture of Hector Pieterson, a black schoolchild shot by the police, brought home to many people within and outside South Africa the brutalities of the Apartheid regime.