Saturday, 11 June 2016

All the Fun of the Fair

I had to house-sit for my parents one particular weekend in April, so I decided to invite some of my best friends over to chill with me, small town-style.

I made dinner reservations at Hometown Steamboat and Nicole, Angela, Rudhra and I sweated it out over a pot of boiling food, and pretty much depleted the restaurant's supply of ground green chili paste.

We ate so much we could hardly move, yet the logical thing to do seemed to be to order dessert. Nobody said no to chocolate fondue.

I knew there was a small, old-fashioned travelling funfair in town, and invited my friends to join me for a spot of fun after dinner, since I had coins burning holes in my pocket at the moment. Nic declined as she had a Latin dance event to attend in the morning, and she was often sick on rides anyway. Rudhra and Angela were game for anything and so we puttered over to check the funfair out.

It was the kind of funfair you would have to be 7 years old or very, very drunk to appreciate. We were neither. However, we had recently watched Ola Bola and had a sense of misplaced nostalgia for things from the '70s and '80s, including the funfair which was a sort of visual leitmotif in the film. Also, we were and are easily entertained, and knew better than to expect Disneyland or Six Flags when we walked in. It was the kind of funfair that attracted mostly rural folk and migrant workers, and it probably met no safety standards whatsoever.

I purchased some tokens and dragged my friends off to the tackiest Ghost Train in the world. The track must have been no more than 150 metres long, if at all. The painted clapboard and plywood Haunted Mansion was a garish specimen of outsider art.

Let's play silly buggers and pretend to be terrified!
And look, wooden floorboards! I die! We were laughing so hard at the wooden floorboards and smelly diesel tractor train that we hardly noticed when a desultory-looking ghost (a skinny teenager wrapped in white muslin) shuffled out at us. For RM3, the train made 4 wobbly circuits.
We stayed to watch a family, all still in their post-wedding dinner finery, get on the ghost train after us.

There was '90s techno-dance remix blaring out of this deadly-looking spinning ride. I had forgotten that Ace of Base ever existed until we got to this funfair.
We wanted to try the games next, although none of the prizes looked as though they were worth winning. We just wanted to try our hand at games of skill and luck.

Rudhra did the Ring-A-Bottle game and won nothing.
And tried to shoot some targets that were obviously designed in such a way that you could never hit it.

But we rolled some ping-pong balls and won small prizes. A pocket flashlight for me...

... A lizard-in-a-box gag gift for Rudhra...
... And a pocket battery-operated fan for Angela that I sadly forgot to take a photo of.

We threw darts at balloons as well just for the satisfaction of popping the balloons although we didn't win anything.
I was dying to have a go on the Dodgem cars, although I have never seen more grimy and banged-up looking dodgem cars. Rudhra and I got in and delighted in crashing into one another every few seconds.
Hah, I had the right of way! Take that, you miscreant!
 I suggested taking the dodgy-looking Ferris Wheel so we could take some aerial shots.
And take some aerial shots, we did.

A desolate-looking Merry-Go-Round. It was by then midnight and most of the families with young children had already left.

For our final hurrah, Rudhra suggested going on the Flying Chairs. I declined at first, since I have heard of people getting flung off the ride and dashed to their deaths (yes, I am very dramatic. It is a gift, thank you). Rudhra went alone and survived it, and insisted that I go next.
I agreed to go on it only if he did, and so Rudhra went a second time and took this bad-ass shot of me.
Two rounds on the Flying Chairs made him feel rather sick, however, and so we decided it was time to go home. We went back to my parents' house, where I served them coconut-and-gula-melaka konnyaku jelly shots, since I obviously thought we haven't had enough unhealthy food yet.

Another weekend of spontaneous fun. We're doing adulthood right.

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