San Francisco, 1st March 2012
Happened to hear about the cement slides at Seward Street and was intrigued by it. Since I was in San Francisco and it was (relatively) easy to get to, I thought why not?
It seems like around the states, or at least in the Bay Area, there are always warning signs at children’s playgrounds that assert that the playground is for kids only. Either that, or no adults allowed unless accompanied by children. I hated that rule, because they have awesome playgrounds.
When I reached the slides, the same sign was there – but I ignored it.
At the top of the world, uh, slide.
The slides looked awesome. It just happened to be incredibly dirty. A huge pile of soil lingered at the base of the slide, and the slide in general seemed to also be covered in a layer of sand/soil/whatever. But damn, it’s a magnificent slide. Unlike those plastic colourful thingamajigs we have these days.
Standing at the top of the slide, I suddenly felt a bit daring. Not wanting to dirty my pants (I only had 4 pairs of pants for an 18 day trip and I did not want to bother with laundry), I decided to make my way down on my feet. After taking a few steps, I decided it was relatively easy and continued on.
The next thing I knew, I was stuck.
The rest of the slide in front of me was horribly steep (think a 60 degree elevation downwards). I couldn’t climb out of the slide either because it was darn difficult to (the pavements next to the slides were steep and slippery) and … it’s much easier to make one’s way down a slide than up a slide, isn’t it?
Dawdled for several minutes, with my buddy Jesslyn helpfully laughing away at the top of the slides. Eventually decided that the best way out was down.
Clinging on to the side of the slides for my dear life, I attempted to descend the 60 degree steep remainder of the slides. I could feel myself slipping, so I gripped on harder … but it wasn’t enough.
Because the next thing I knew, my feet slipped out from under me and I fell hard on my butt, whooshed down the rest of the slide at top speed and landed straight into the pile of soil.
Only injury sustained was a small layer (or two) of skin ripped from my left hand and a bruise to my ego. Oh, and very dirty pants.
NOW I know why those “no adults” signs are there.
So here I sit, waiting for a flight back to Singapore after 17 absolutely awesome days in the US of A – 9 days in San Francisco, 3 days in Las Vegas and 5 days in Austin.
It was just me and another girl friend. Everyone who knew about the trip feared for our safety. Parents, friends, relatives.
I was actually dreading this trip as it loomed closer. Thoughts of “why on earth did I agree to this?” and “ZOMG, can I survive this?!” ran through my head like wildfire.
It was my first trip to a place I haven’t been before. On my own. (Well, nearly – my friend was just as lost as I was.) Without any adults around. (Most of my previous trips were with family. Otherwise, I’ll be in a group of at least 3 friends.)
It cumulated into 2 days of frantic researching during the weekend before our trip, as I figured out transit maps, directions, hotel locations and places we wanted to go.
It’s day 17. Our trip is nearly over, and we’ve had a blast of a time. It makes me wonder what I was so scared of before, and I realized that I’m actually more independent than I think.
In between meeting Elea (hurray for blogger friends), belting out karaoke on a stage in front of a sea of unknown people, travelling to places far out from the city such as the Googleplex and Apple’s Cupertino Campus on purely public transport, sniffing out awesome scenic spots (we hoped) not everyone knew about and basically did everything we wanted to do, it was an AWESOME trip. More details in subsequent entries.
It was tiring though. My travel buddy is already all conked out in front of me in the cafe. Heh.
Until we get back to Singapore …