This week I went to Guiyang Happy World 90 minutes away from my medical school.
I haven’t been to a theme park in a long while. I was looking forward to it but, like all of my experiences in China, I’ve learnt not to use my Indian life as a parallel or point of reference to anything in China. I was expecting something a little more gritty and undoubtedly a little more dangerous than the parks I’m used to back in India.
The first thing that hit me about the park was the complete lack of life. Aside from a few groups of friends and the odd family, the park was barren. It was like an old abandoned theme park that you’d read about in Stephen King horror story. I was half expecting a 7ft clown to dash out from behind a carousel and capture us for use in a haunted house.
On the flipside, no crowds = no queueing for the rides. Me and Nargis hopped hopped through the park without once waiting in a line.
There was the usual set of rides. The big juggernaut of a roller coaster at the entrance and exit and the set of intermediate rides in between; the pirate ship, carousels, the logflume, dodgems, finding Nemo-themed choo choo trains and so on. Being the tight fisted people we are we made a mission of going on everyone of them.
If you’ve ever bought anything from china (you have) then you may be aware that build quality is not exactly a priority in this country. With this in mind, some of the rollercoasters had a very real edge to them. Not only were they scary rides, they also had that quaint chinese quality about them that maybe, just maybe, that they might collapse mid ride. This ran through my head when, as I was getting strapped in for one particular ride (see below; the mammoth yellow one), two workmen to the left of me were balancing on top of the structure tightening the bolts for us.
Half way through the day was the logflume’s turn. Thinking about it, logflumes are always terrible. You get one rush off of them and, unless you buy a raincoat at extra cost, you’re getting a wet behind for the rest of the day. As you can see from the gallery, we saved our cash and took the full force of the flume. No regrets.
Once done with the rides, we hitched a ride on a black taxi with the a beautiful divorcee. She was quite happy that she won custody of the child and, apparently, to share private matters with strangers. If you’re to take anything from that, don’t ever divorce a chinese woman. She will air your dirty laundry.