Leah_Cypess (leah_cypess) wrote in 10_ers,

Top Ten Things I've Done

(That You (Probably) Haven’t)


I got this meme about six years ago, and thought it was incredibly fun... so much so that I emailed it as a challenge to this guy I had just started dating. He emailed it back with a P.S.: “And one of these is something I actually haven’t done. Guess which."

Reader, I married him.

Now, in most cases, #1 on my list would be “got a book published!”  But that’s not going to work here.  Luckily I was able to think of another ten...

1. Snowmobiled on a glacier.

This would also top the list of Ten Most Fun Things I Have Ever Done.  We had a really obnoxious guide who acted like we were morons for not already knowing how to ride snowmobiles, and then sped off with the clear intent of leaving us in the dust.  I stayed right on his tail all the way to the top of the glacier.  Take that, snobby Icelandic dude!



2. Successfully argued an asylum case for a woman from Tibet.

Later, someone told me that asylum cases from
Tibet are easy to win, and that’s why law firms give them to bright-eyed idealistic summer associates.  And indeed, the next two asylum claims I worked on, for men from Colombia and Bangladesh, were much weaker cases and did not go as well.  But I was so happy when the judge granted asylum, and I still wonder what happened to my client and to her husband, who was still in Nepal.

(And lest you think only Tibetans get asylum, in another case I was involved with, a man from the
Congo was granted asylum.  He was a Christian missionary who, in the Congo, would go around knocking on people's doors and offering to tell them about the Bible.  He said that when he did this in the Congo, people would invite him in and serve him food while listening with great interest.  "I heard," he said, "that it's not like that in America."  I kind of wonder what happened to him too....)


3. Beaten a contingent of soldiers to the top of an ancient desert fortress in the middle of the night.

Actually, they were only soldiers in training, and they had to find their own way up; after they all went running off in the wrong direction, their commander kindly showed us where the path began.  But still. The fortress was Masada, in Israel, an isolated rock plateau with 2,000-year-old ruins that plays a central role in one of my WIPs. 





4. Seen Aurora Borealis.

It’s one of those beauties of nature that, if it didn’t exist, no one could ever dream it up.  Like the
Grand Canyon.  Or the ocean.  I’d been dying to see the Northern Lights ever since reading The Golden Compass, and they didn’t disappoint.


Been attacked by a colony of biter ants.

This was at the end of an otherwise awesome canoe trip through a jungle in
Costa Rica, when I apparently pushed my way through the wrong type of undergrowth.  The funniest part (which was not funny until after I had showered) was the guide’s calm comment when he saw that there were ants literally swarming all over my body: “Oh, that’s not good.”



[biter ants not shown]


6. Realized at the end of a 3-day trip to Las Vegas that I had neglected to do any gambling.

In my defense, I spent two of those days on a hiking trip. Wait, maybe that’s not such a good defense.


7. Hunted with falcons.

Not really – it was a training walk designed to teach us how to handle hunting birds.  But the falcons do sometimes take it into their heads to go off after some small animal on their own. In fact, because I’m a religious Jew and Jewish law prohibits hunting purely for sport, I had to make sure this wouldn’t count as hunting. I vaguely recall calling a rabbi and starting out with, “So, this probably isn’t a question you get very often...”



8. Shut down Bloomingdales.

I was a toddler at the time, and I snuck off while my mother was shopping in Bloomingdales in NYC.  There was a city-wide kidnapping scare at the time, and when my mother frantically told a guard she couldn’t find me, they immediately locked every door in the place.  Nobody could go in or out until I was found.

9. Spent a day being driven around an island by two strangers, because I accidentally rented a stick-shift car and I don’t know how to drive stick shift.

The island was
Rhodes, and the rest of it is a very, very long story. I will substitute a picture.





10. Hiked alone in the jungle at night.

By alone, I mean without a guide, not without anyone – I’m not that crazy.  I was with a friend in
Costa Rica, and my goal was to reach a waterfall we had hiked to that afternoon, because one of my WIPs had a scene that takes place near a waterfall at night and I wanted to write some description.  Turns out, the description of a waterfall in the jungle at night is fairly basic: You can’t see anything.

And my parents will find out about this particular escapade for the first time if they read it here.  (Come to think of it, so will my friend’s parents.  Perhaps I should give her a call....)

So: What are the top ten things YOU'VE done that we probably haven't?

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