Roller coaster memories
A few years ago after I graduated from my university and just started to work for a Fortune 500 company in China, I very much enjoyed being part of a group of talented people. All my colleagues had a great enthusiasm and passion toward life and work.
That was a group of people who worked hard and played hard. They enjoyed their life to the fullest, although they needed to work under a stressful environment.
We usually had kickoff meetings after quarterly business reviews. After an intense review meeting on one Friday, a manager suggested: ”Let’s go to the Happy Valley and stay one night there.”
We then took a train and arrived at Shenzhen, where the Happy Valley –the Chinese version of Universal Studio- was located. As the staff in the company was mostly between ages 22-30, after dinner, we all very much enjoyed playing in the amusement park and taking rides such as a Ferris wheel, surfing in the water park, tunnel of love and all kinds of rides. I quite enjoyed myself trying those different rides, as I usually did not go to such a park by myself since I thought I was an adult already.
Around 8 o’clock, it was already dark, we stopped by a new roller coaster . Lots of my colleagues wanted to ride, but not me. They quickly went there and lined up .They seemed quite excited to try the new roller coaster. I was standing there and was not planning to go.
A roller coaster was a kind of experience that I never had an interest in. I was a person who was not bold and did not like to have adventures. When I was a kid, I used to play mostly mild games, which were not breathtaking and thrilling. I had never thought of taking a roller coaster in my life at all.
Lots of my colleagues seemed quite fond of it and they lined up to take it a few more times. I was sitting under a tree, which was close to the roller coaster and was texting my friends. One colleague approached me with a big smile on his face. His name is George and he was the organizer of this outing event. He was quite a fun person who seemed to have endless jokes to share and unlimited amazing stories to tell. He was a good-looking guy. He was also a leader who always enjoyed organizing activities.
“Why are you here?” He asked.
“I am not playing, I am waiting for them.” I said.
“Why not take a ride?” He was curious. He already took several rides and it seemed that he enjoyed it a lot.
“I am…just scared…it’s too high and too fast.” I told him my concern.
“Oh, it’s not scary at all.” he encouraged me. “The seats are so soft, just like sofas. You just like sitting in a cinema’s soft seat and watching a movie. ”
I looked at him, a bit doubtful about what he had said. But his smile was so sincere and eyes so encouraging, I could not question his kindness and sincerity when he was looking at me.
“Really?…like a soft sofa?” I asked him. I hesitated a bit. Since I had not taken a roller coaster before, I had imagined what does it feel like if I was to be on it. I was extremely wonky when he described the experience to me. It was not bad to imagine myself sitting in a sofa and watching a movie. But I was still quite unsure…if it was that comfortable, why did lots of people scream?
“Come on. Try it. You will be great.” He insisted encouraging me. “Imagine you are sitting in a movie theater and waiting for a grand movie to start.”
I was not a person who could easily tell if it was a joke or not. Some of my friends could. My friends said my psychological age was much younger than my actual age. Although I was in my early twenties at that time, I was not particularly mature.
I was greatly influenced by his description. Without realizing it, I unconsciously followed him and was in the lineup of the roller coaster. When I was in the line, I was thinking about the soft sofa.
A few minutes later, it was my turn. He was beside me since he wanted to witness my first ride. But when I climbed up to enter in a car and sat on a seat, I felt not right. The seat was quite hard, not like a sofa at all. In addition to that, I found I was sitting on an uncomfortable chair, which was almost 200 meters above the ground. I felt dizzy when I looked down.
I turned to him and said: “It’s not like a sofa at all…I want to leave. I do not want to do this …”
“No chance now, it’s going to start very soon.” He said, with a satisfied and amused expression.
How could I believe in him and imagine there was a comfortable sofa on a roller coaster? I was sorry about my decision, but it was too late.
The roller coaster started to move very slowly, but in a very scary slow speed. When I looked down, I almost fainted. It was too high to imagine. I thought I was on a death coaster, which was going to lead me to a bottomless abyss. And I was going to disappear from the world very soon.
I could hear the horrible gears rolling very slowly to the top and I could see there was a deep endless darkness in front of me. My heart pounded, it almost reached my throat. My eyes were wide open; I hoped this was not something bad to happening to me. I was not prepared to take this adventure! Never!!!
The scariest part was that I realized that I was going down very soon, but the gears turned so slowly and I did not know when it would happen. After like a century’s long, the gears pushed us to the top of the roller coaster, it stopped, when I looked down, an endless deep dark hell was just under me.
I suddenly lost consciousness. Liked all other people, I shouted, but just once, and then I fainted.
As you could imagine, I was found passed out in the roller coaster car. And that was my sad experience of taking a roller coaster.