My mother in law recently hypothesized that adults love amusement parks because it reminds them of the wonderful memories they had as toddlers when family members would pick them up and run with them, throw them, and make them giggle. We decided to attempt to re-experience childhood by heading to the indoor amusement park with the longest indoor rollercoaster in SE Asia at the Berjaya Times Square, a local shopping center, to enjoy our Martin Luther King, Jr Day holiday.
I haven’t been to an amusement park for at least 7 years and I was amazed at how scary some of the rides seemed. Now that I’m past the teen years I found myself feeling a little more cautious about my safety on Malaysian-regulated machinery designed to swing me around in 80 km loops while also regretting my choice of a fast food lunch. Originally we had planned to go to a movie and only peek in on the amusement park but nothing we wanted to see was showing so we wandered eating unhealthy food and browsing strange wares until we made it the amusement park, saw how cool it was, and called our babysitter to ask if she wouldn’t mind staying a bit longer so we could play. It was fun just getting all excited and running in to have the place largely to ourselves as MLK isn’t a holiday for the local Malaysians so we were only competing with random weekday mall-goers. For me it was also a late realization of a my teenage desire to hit the boardwalk / carnival / amusement park with my *boy*friend, something I’d wanted to do after seeing it in countless movies. Also, during teenage summer trips with my family to Six Flags I’d been hanging out with my sisters and we’d be trying to look cool but it was tough when you’re with your mom and the group of teenagers next to you in line is all paired off and looking adult and independent. At last!
We took all the rides and I was proud of S because he’s a bit scared of heights. I have to admit, this was the first time I felt so nauseated after a ride that I needed to expunge the contents of my stomach before the pièce de résistance, the roller coaster that looped over multiple stories of the mall and twisted and looped. It was fun! In the end, however, I know that it’s probably time to pass the amusement park-going torch on to my kids, who will be begging to go soon enough while I hold onto their bags by the exit path at whatever newfangled amusement park they happen to like at the time.
A view of the indoor amusement park from the shops - you can see the many rides occupying the floor and air of the park.
So, what sorts of rides do I expect Calliope will like when she reaches those dreaded teenage years? Well, S and I ran some tests on what she considers fun…
CONFIRMED FUN: Getting thrown around by one’s Dad, with increasing “air time,”
CONFIRMED FUN: Swinging around like a hammer in the Olympic tradition by one’s Dad
CONFIRMED FUN: Being held upside down and then wiggled by one’s holder
FUN-LEVEL WANING: Getting tired
FUN FAIL - NOT FUN ANYMORE: Crying after being surprised by the loud gonging noises she accidentally made when pulling gongs off the shelf
Assessment? There are some definite similarities between baby rides and adult amusement parks. Take home message here? Roller coasters and other nausea-inducing rides allowed me to get closer to my baby by helping me better understand how the rides her dad gives her might make her feel. Baby, I sympathize and am jealous of your excitements at the same time.