Friday, 31 January 2014

Trying to Try New Things

During January two ever so slightly less than successful new experiences have come my way.

1. Skiing

Looking back I was so naive to think what I thought: that everyone could ski, that it was no big deal. In my head those things were true. And that's how Lee and I ended up at the top of a mountain slope, wondering how the f*ck we were going to get down. 

I knew I was in trouble as soon as I put on the boots. They were incredibly tight and rigid, and almost impossible to walk in. I nearly fell on the steps from the car park to the ski slope. I probably should've turned back then.

I tried to learn how to move and stop. I couldn't do it. Within minutes Lee went sliding uncontrollably down into the path of oncoming skiers, promptly falling over and detaching ski boot from ski.

For some reason after this we and our two other companions thought the natural progression would be to get on the ski lift and just 'give it a go.'
The journey was pretty and would've been quite relaxing had I not been thinking about how I was going to manage to get off the thing.
Lee was in front and it was his turn. 
He got off and fell over. 
I nearly snapped my legs off having not understood the Korean command 'lift your feet up.' My turn came and I began to panic. I couldn't bring myself to jump off the stupid thing. 
Before I knew it I was swinging around and heading back down. 
I wish they'd left me but unfortunately the staff pressed the emergency stop button and, much to my extreme mortification, came to my rescue. They took my skis off and put them to the side. I waddled over, re-attached them, moved about three feet and fell on my bum.
In the middle of asking if I was OK, Lee began to slide towards the hill. Before either of us knew what was happening, he was sliding down the hill. 
My friend thought Lee was simply keen to get stuck in, but I'd seen the look on his face as he went faster and faster with no idea of how to stop.
He disappeared, leaving me to wonder: 
a) if he was going to live to tell the tale  
b) how I was going to go about following him.

The next hour consisted of me shuffling, slightly sliding, falling, spending excessive amounts of energy trying to get up, getting sweaty and stressed and being embarrassed.
I thought skiing was supposed to be fun?
Eventually I asked my friend to go on without me, leaving me to cool off in the awkward position on the slope that I'd fallen in. 
Lee came back for me- which was very nice considering he felt he was a risk up on that slope to himself and everyone else around.  
I had one last failure of a go and after that we took our skis off and slid down the mountain in our boots. Now that was quite fun!

Next time (if there is one) I will be getting a lesson.

Sitting safely at the bottom

2. Visiting a dog cafe. 

Dog and cat cafes are pretty normal in Korea. They are what they say on the tin- a place to drink coffee with friends and pet said animals. 
I've always been intrigued, which is why I forgot to consider one rather large problem- I hate dogs.
On the journey there it became more and more apparent that I was being a bit stupid. I've never been friends with a dog. I've been bitten by two different dogs and attemptedly humped by several. They are smelly and needy and hairy and disgusting. They bark and jump up and have big teeth. In general- except for the really small fluffy ones- I find them quite terrifying.  
As you can imagine I felt like a complete idiot when we arrived and I had to be coaxed even into the 'small dog' arena. How stupid do you have to be to go to a dog cafe when you're not at all keen on dogs?

Lee and his new friends
In the big boys section were a range of breeds and sizes, free to jump up on the adoring customers as they pleased. I lingered at the gate, looking over nervously, but couldn't bring myself to go in.

So I sat in the corner, hoping none of the little dogs would notice I was there. Sometimes a big dog or two would enter the small dog pen, causing an uproar of noise amongst the dogs, and a near heart attack in me. A golden retriever thought it would be funny to slip in when the gate was opened, and run around the edge of the room under all the tables. My heart leapt into my mouth as I held my breath, hoping he would pass without attacking me. 

And then, the beast to end all beasts, the king of all that is canine, a massive white thing paraded through with its owner. It was fluffier than anything I've ever seen on four legs, yet still its part-wolf-part-horse look frightened the living daylights out of me. Surely it could (and may well) devour every single one of us? My only protection was the chihuahua sitting next to me who began yapping like crazy, clearly thinking he could take on the monster.

Teddy bear/monster wolf cross breed

Thankfully the outing wasn't a complete disaster, in that I did make one friend. A small raggedy old thing that sat next to me, tongue out, slobbering on the chair. Sure, he was asleep for most of the time, but I did manage to stroke him a couple of times.

So there you have it: a summary of how Rachel tried and failed to do new things! 

What will be next?

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