China’s first official ‘International Pillow Fight Day’ was held on April 2nd, 2011. Synchronising with over 130 cities around the world via pillowfightday.com, several hundred people turned up to Statue Square in Central to beat each other silly with pillows (often in fancy dress).
Matt Harding of YouTube fame invited Hong Kongers to dance with him in Tsim Sha Tsui this week. I turned up in costume with friends and, as CNN reported, “…there were easily over a hundred people there, including a man dressed in a Mario outfit who Matt immediately pointed at and said: ‘You, my friend, will get me sued.’”
…I drove back to Kuta to do my third and final bungee jump on the beach. I’d bought a deluxe package of 3 jumps – a standard jump where the cord is attached at the feet, a ‘spider’ jump with a harness around the waist giving you more freefall freedom and a final jump where you do a run-up on a BMX (the bike is attached to you). In preparation, I’d not eaten for a while and did the biggest poo I could muster to ensure no messy accidents during the escapade…
I’ll be honest – I derived no enjoyment at all from the exercise and literally spent 8 minutes ‘contemplating’ on the edge of the platform during the first jump. By the second one I’d cut my emotional crisis on the edge down to 6 minutes. The crew told me that the longer I wait, the harder it would be – they weren’t wrong and I wish they’d have just pushed me. They say skydives are easier – I have a couple of solo skydives to my credit and agree, at least, that parachute jumps are more abstract – you’re up in the clouds and are generally pushed out! However, here you have a situation where you can see the ground clearly and are being asked carry out an action which your brain reminds you is – in essence – an act of suicide.
In summer 2002, I joined the rest of my gap year group in Uganda for a day of white water rafting down some of the best rapids in the world. There were 11 sets of rapids starting at the soon-to-be-flooded source of the Nile, Bujagali Falls. Four of the rapids were grade five (the biggest you can safely raft!). The last rapid, ‘The Bad Place’ apparently verges on a grade 6. A full day with lunch is US$75 with Equator Rafts, but you’d best be quick as a dam is being built and the serene Bujagali stretch will soon be lost forever.
I rafted again a year later in India on the River Beas (bottom row of photos). The Himalayas formed a gorgeous backdrop, and although the rapids weren’t as fierce (4 being the highest), it was still great fun. A morning of rafting from Manali with Himalayan Journeys was under £20.
In 2006 I went rafting down a stretch of rapids near Chiang Mai in Thailand (video below). A half-day on up to grade 4 rapids, mountain biking in the jungle and an elephant ride at a sanctuary totalled about £30.