Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
A reflection on the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb from a student’s perspective. Click here for other points of view on the climb from TGS student bloggers.
Let me just tell you this before you keep on reading; heights not only scare me, they scare the.. err.. let’s say feces since this is for school.
This day started like any other day: morning yoga to greet the sun, putting on sunscreen, and chilling on the floor of my room listening to Bob Marley. But it was not any other day. This was going to be a day when my heart was going beat about twice the amount of beats it does in a normal day.
When the ferry arrived in Sydney I saw it. There it stood in all its magnificence, all its glory. All its enormousness. And it was going to get worse. How big I thought it was when I stood on the ground was nothing compared to what I was going to see when I was up at the top.
I was actually going to climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
We got all the safety gear on, my breath getting faster and faster, but the staff was really nice and seemed to have experience with acrophobia. When we were all strapped in and clipped to the stairs, it was time to go.
Don’t look down.
Do NOT look down.
And of course, I looked down. I felt nauseous, and my jaw start to ache.
The path we were walking was called a runway. I could see why. Models are nauseous with hunger on the runways. I was nauseous with fear. I laughed at my silly little comparison in my head. It wasn’t really a very joyful laughter, as you might understand.
As we kept on walking we came higher and higher. When we reached the asphalt and the cars, I felt a lot better. It was almost like standing on solid ground again!
Then I realized something amazing. The arch we were walking on was made out of two meter wide solid steel. The relief that I felt was like drinking a chai latté on a really cold day; it warmed me all the way down to the stomach. It was just solid stairs from here. The group I was walking with was great and so was the tour guide. He was able to keep our spirits up even though we were exhausted from all the steps.
After what felt like at least twenty thousand steps later, we were at the top. It was high. Really high. High like a bunch of hippies at Woodstock ’69.
But I was happy. Happy like a bunch of hippies at Woodstock ’69.
I felt like nothing could stop me. I was on top of the world. The best feeling was when a helicopter flew by and was about as high up in the air as we were. It was the perfect moment for some Queen.
I wondered if my classmates and I were the first ones to sing “We are the Champions” on top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I don’t think so though because it was so perfect for the moment. But we probably were the first ones to do the “Oompa-Loompa” dance on the way down.
Once we were down, I was very proud of myself. I never thought that I was going to make it, and to be really honest, I had my moments when all I wanted to do was to turn around and walk back down. But I didn’t. Because, as Jonathan Lionheart says:
There are things in life that you just have to do, otherwise you are not a human, just a little piece of dirt.