And just about a year ago I did just that and never told you about it. Shame on me, but here you go:
I had given the geek a gift certificate for parasailing for his birthday in July. Every day on my way home from work I can see parasailers cruising around one of the artificial hills left behind by the open cast mining company around here. Well, not really every day, but when the winds are fortunate. Anyways, I had done a bit of Internet research, found a group that does take strangers and non-members up into the air. Looking for a manly present: there it is.
He decided not to use it until after having turned in his PhD thesis, to have something to look forward to. Other than the degree, I guess.
When we went to Crete in September, we could watch parasailers come around from where the beach got lost behind a hill. I watched them endlessly on that first day, while sporty geek snorkeled endlessly. It looked like fun and totally relaxing, as it seemed very slow. The other days we went hiking and did not go to the beach, or we went to the beach and the weather was somehow not ok for parasailing and how much would they charge those stupid tourists anyway.
On our last day, we took a chance. Even though there were clouds and the air kind of stood still that day, we went all the way down to where they sat with their boat-station and asked for the price. Which was totally within the range. So we said yes.
Three uncommonly friendly Greeks who were experts in grumbling and grunting started unpacking their gear, leaving us without further explanation to ourselves. Which is not the way I want to be treated when about to fly Icarusquesque towards the sun.
When they were done with whatever they had to do, they started to strap us into the parasailing seat thing. Hard to understand what Greeks say sometimes, so no tech terms here. After I had put on all the straps I could find - eyed by the most friendly of the three grunters - I was told that "At end, you fall into sea. Get wet." So I unstrapped, undressed, restrapped and smiled bravely.
We were positioned in the center of a platform just off the beach and the parasail was laid out behind us. I was up front, the geek just behind me. Friendly instructions by my favorite grunter: "When I say RUN, you run. At the end, you jump." Which is exactly the best way to make someone feel save who puts their lives into your hands. Good job, well done.
As told, we did. Easy as that. I had expected a bit more instruction, a bit more technical problems, but after the boat had gained speed and the straps were straightening, we were told to run. At the end of the pier we just jumped - it reminded me a lot of the Brothers Lionhear who also jump without fear - and off we went. Up and up and up. It was magical, even if that sounds really stupid to say.
From up there, everything looked so small, just like looking out a plane's window, but it also felt super surreal. Gliding up there, I felt so weightless and good, it was a bit overwhelming. Even though my butt was getting cold, I could only barely turn around and kiss the geek and the seat was not nearly as comfy as let's say my beach towel next to an exotic drink. But if you ever think of a perfect moment to say something romantic: that's the moment.
And Young Grunter had been right: at the end, the boat slowed down in a curve so that we slowed down (literally down), too. It was so cool to glide like a feather and slowly touch
Old grunter then came to pick us up - luckily we had the parasail - and drove us back to the beach, wet but happy. Too bad I did not take my camera or instructed someone to take pictures of us while up there. But I guess Young Grunter 1 and Young Grunter 2 would have been too busy grumbling to take a picture or maybe they would have sold the camera to someone not me. Just a thought.
Perfect. I am glad I shared it with you, geek!