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3:35 pm, Last Wednesday, Dreamland (Bali) | by yusheng
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3:35 pm, Last Wednesday, Dreamland (Bali)

Continuing with my list of bad things that happened during the trip:


This was taken about half hour after Eting and I nearly drowned at sea.


It was probably the most scared I've felt in my entire life (even surpassing the time when I lost control of my car over a patch of ice and ended up in a ditch[1]).


A few things to set this story up: I rarely go to the beach. I've probably been to the beach less than 10 times total in my life. I step into the sea even less times. This was a beach with big, powerful waves. No swimming is allowed and it was for surfing.


Okay, so we were just playing by the shore, letting the waves splash us and push us around. We were about waist deep in the sea. It was fun! The next thing we knew, somehow we ended up where it was too deep to stand. The last wave must have dragged us out into the sea. Re-telling the story, we were stupid, of course. We knew how powerful the waves were—even just standing ankle deep by the shore, the waves were strong enough that we could not hold our stance. It just never occurred to me that just playing around waist-deep by the shore could be that dangerous.


Anyway, all of a sudden we found ourselves far away from the shore and Eting reminded me that she couldn't swim. Oh shit! I thought. I had to do everything I could just to keep her afloat. With the huge waves continuously crashing on top of us, swimming us back was out of the question. I was tiring very quickly (it's not like I exercise regularly). I really thought we were about to drown.


Luckily, two men came to our rescue. They held Eting and swam her towards the beach. I followed behind. Then I started running out of energy and had to get one of them to come give me a hand. He pushed me all the way back to the beach.


I collapsed on the sand and didn't get up for the next 15 minutes because I was so physically spent. And scared out of my mind.


I never really respected the sea. I certainly didn't expect to nearly drown so close to the shore, not when I know how to swim and have swam for 5 kilometers in a pool without stopping. Now I know.


[1] That happened too quickly for fear to register, though. It was bam! swerve! flip! pass out and wake up upside down with face in snow through the shattered windshield. There was no time to get scared.

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Taken on May 30, 2007