Friday, August 04, 2006
THE NERD AND HER BFF PARASAIL
I found myself thinking about Pakistan and the Caribbean all day today, which probably means that I'm desperately overdue for a vacation. I was in Pakistan with the family back in January and I last sailed the high seas of the Caribbean last winter with the best friend. Many of you are familiar with THE hair-raising moment of the Pakistani vacation. Read about it here.
Well, my last Ultimate Caribbean Cruise (that's what the itinerary--I will NEVER learn how to spell this word, ever--was called) had it's very own hair-raising moment. Coincidentally enough, this nightmarishly frightening experience unfolded high up in the atmosphere as well. Now, before I delve into this knee-trembler, I would like to state for the record that I do not suffer from acrophobia (interestingly enough, my father does). I just doesn't like the thought of crashing from tall heights. Thanks.
The bff and I had originally wanted to kayak on Royal Caribbean's private peninsula in Haiti called Labadee but when that excursion was scrapped due to the absurdly small number of people who'd signed up for it, we decided to go parasailing, instead (you have to understand that this particular cruise was teeming with older people. Remind me to tell you about the sleazy geriatric who dragged me to the dance floor in the ship's lame club and proceeded to shake his pelvic region in a manner not befitting anyone, let alone someone old enough to be my grandfather. The bff was useless during what I now recognize was the second hair-raising moment of the cruise. She just stood back and giggled) who called it a night by 8PM and had neither the youth nor the vigor to kayak.
So, we were a little jittery about the parasailing but excited nonetheless. That is until our dinner tablemates--three sweet couples from a retirement village in Florida, who were a sitcom waiting to happen--told us a tale, which they'd heard from a waiter, about two girls who were parasailing when the rope securing them to the speed boat snapped. They ended up drifting out aimlessly over the Caribbean until they fell into the water, at which time they were rescued.
By the time the bff and I found ourselves on a speedboat taking us out into the sea with three much older couples and two Royal Caribbean employees, who I hoped to God were Ph-freakin'-Ds in parasailing, my heart was in my throat. Hell, I was chewing on the damned organ and it DID NOT TASTE GOOD. Meanwhile, these geriatric couples (in all fairness, one couple was a pair of newlyweds, so they weren't THAT old but most certainly older than us) were kicking back and enjoying themselves as if the thought of thrashing around 400 feet above the sea was of no concern to them at all. It was decided that since the bff and I were scared shitless, we would go last. The older folks tried to calm us down but we just looked on grimly as one couple after another sailed and landed, throwing thumbs ups and high fives on their return.
When our turn finally came, Roselle was silent with terror. I, on the other hand, in typical Sabila fashion, jabbered on and on. I had questions about everything. I was damned near asking the parasailing experts their bloodtypes when one of them said, "Just do it. You'll see, you'll have fun." The bff and I strapped ourselves into the double harness and I found some comfort in the fact that we were taking this risk together. There was no one else with whom I'd rather drift out over the perilously dark and incomprehensibly deep waters of the Caribbean potentially risking our young lives. We followed instructions and, pretty soon, the rope connecting us to the boat (our freakin' lifeline) unwinded as we were lifted skyward by the wind.
The following conversation ensued between me and my bff:
BFF: OOOHHH MYYY GODDDDDDD
An unsettling silence broken only by the unsettling sounds of the parasail canopy whipping unsettlingly loudly settled but for a moment between us.
Nerd: WHY ARE WE GOING HIGHER? FUCK, THE BLOODY ROPE BETTER NOT SNAAAAAAPPPPP!
BFF: HOLY CRAP, HOLY CRAP, HOLY CRAP!!!!!
Nerd: FUCKIN' HELL SHIT DAMNATION! I DON'T WANT TO BE LIKE THOSE GIRLS!
BFF: SABILAAAAAAAAAA! WHAT IF WE DRIFT OUT TO THE OCEAAAAAAAN!!!!!
Nerd: AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! GODDDDDDDD!!!!!! WHY DO WE KEEP GOING HIGHEEEEERRRR!!!!!
BFF: I HOPE THERE ISN'T AHHHHHHHHH PROBLEM!
Nerd: OH NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Utterly exhausted, another brief but overwrought silence alighted between us.
BFF: Look Sabila! Look at the beach! Wow. We're REALLY high up here aren't we? It's beautiful.
Nerd: Look at how small our boat looks from up here! I had no idea we would be so high. The water's so blue and the air--
The boat turned a sharp left, whipping us along like rag dolls.
Nerd: FUUUCCCCCKKKKKK. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT!!!!!!
BFF: oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.
Nerd: IS OUR ROPE STILL ATTACHED TO THE BOAT! I'M NOT A STRONG SWIMMER. I DON'T WANT TO DROWWWWN.
BFF: BITCH, I CAN'T SWIM! SHUT THE EFF UP! YOU'RE SCARING ME!!!!
Nerd: I HATE YOU! THIS WAS YOUR IDEA! AND NOW WE'RE GOING TO DIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
BFF: I CAN FLOAT. I KNOW HOW TO FLOOOOAAAAAT.
Nerd: I HATE THIS SHIT! IS IT EFFIN' OVER YETTTTT? AAAAAAAHHHHHH.
We started pulling in and as my heart settled back where it belongs in my thoracic cavity, I turned to the bff.
"Wow, that was really amazing," I told her.
My bff smiled warmly at me and I was glad that I'd shared this experience with her. "I want to do that again!" she exclaimed.
"It was no thang," I shrugged, high fiving one of the geriatrics, once we were back on the boat.