Today was the first sunny day of the rainy month we're a week into, glorious. I woke up early and met a friend (R) with a scooter and climbing gear for two to trek over to the soccer stadium, outside of which is a fifty-foot climbing wall, and I had my first climbing experience. I loved it. We pulled up to the sound of 4 irate German shepherds (and a couple of disinterested puppies more into each other than us) hollering at us from this little pen that one would probably call a puppy mill. Not to give the wrong impression, the dogs looked healthy enough, but the lack of a male canine presence and the dusky brown teats hanging from each of the adult dogs tipped me off that these were probably not pets. One of the mamas was pretty vicious when I came near, and was standing in front of her puppies. I tried to assure her that I wasn't here to take them, but conversing with dogs who speak English is difficult enough, and my korean is still quite limited.
After showing me the way all the gear works, R and I took turns scaling the wall.
The furthest I got was probably about 20 feet up, and that was exhausting. The most exhilarating moment of the morning was when I had finished my second climb and R let me "swing out" off the wall and take a look around before letting me down. I'm a little afraid of heights, so the feeling of giving all my weight to the rope and letting go sent my heart into my throat, and it took me another ten seconds or so to take my hands off the rope and hang by the harness. We talked a bit about the importance of unplugging from "the daily grind" and getting back to "you and the planet" whenever possible, and he told me some stories about climbing in Thailand, which I'm excited for. Oh, and I know I told some people I was going to Thailand for Christmas with J, another teacher at ECC, but I came back and he informed me that we never discussed such a thing and I completely made it up. I think I may have dreamed it. Actually, I think that there's a large group of people conspiring to make me go crazy, but I'm probably wrong. So we'll see, I may still go on my own.