Sunday, August 10, 2014

Reliving My Youth

Have you ever tried to relive your youth? And did you expect that nothing would have changed because even though three decades (or more) may have passed and you may have grey hairs, creaky joints and a few lines on you face, you basically still feel about fifteen?

I did exactly that on Saturday. Yes, call me delusional, but I fully expected my visit to the Ekka to be just like it used to be back when I was 15 - except this time I'd have more disposable income than the $5 pocket money that I used to save for the months leading up to August.

I was wrong.

It didn't end well.

For all you non-Brisbanites, the Ekka is our local show. When the country comes to the city and we're encouraged to spend ridiculous amounts of money in the name of having a good time.

I used to love going to the Ekka when I was younger. The rides. The fairy floss. The show bags. The redolent aroma of manure mixed with hay. Scratching pig bums until they almost collapsed in ecstasy. Watching the butchers make sausages - probably out of the same pigs that had had their bums scratched last year. And collecting as many freebies as we could carry. 

It was all fun and exciting - especially the rides. For me, the scarier the better. If it tossed me around and turned my stomach inside out I was in heaven. I loved the rush of being terrified but knowing that I was safe.

I hadn't been for about 15 years and every year I would have a hankering to go but then talk myself out of it. But this year Iven was out of town and Luke and Becky were house-sitting and Serena was working at the Ekka so Josh and I were at a loose end on Saturday afternoon. He took pity on his bored mother and agreed to a mother-and-son expedition to the Exhibition. 

When we arrived our first port of call was to visit Serena who's working selling ice cream for the duration of the show. And my Snicker's ice cream was even better because I was having dessert before dinner. You can do that when you're an adult pretending to relive your youth.

Milany Gelato is amazing.
Then we followed it with the main course - a potato tornado. Basically a spiral potato on a stick, battered and fried. I had run 29k in the morning and had a case of extreme food entitlement. All healthy eating bets are off when you go to the Ekka for the first time in fifteen years and you've burned a few thousand calories that morning.

And then we made a rash and foolish decision that only the young and young-at-heart would ever make. We decided to go to Sideshow Alley to have a ride on something wild and terrifying. Because I love wild and terrifying when it comes to rides. And because I'm a pretty cool Mum even at 51.

Josh chose this one.

We bought our tickets and stood in queue and soon it was our turn to be buckled in. I tucked my glasses down my bra so they didn't go flying off never to be seen again and leaving me unable to drive home, then we were off.

It started off slowly. Just a few rotations. A little bit of tilting. Lulling us into a false sense of security. Then the lights started flashing and the music amped up and it was on. We were flipping and spinning and laughing and shrieking. Well, I was shrieking and Josh was laughing. And it was fun and I was fifteen again. And it didn't matter that I was the oldest on the ride by two and a half decades (yes, Josh was the second oldest). I still had it!

The ride slowed down and I was simultaneously disappointed and relieved. Relieved that I'd survived and disappointed that it was over so soon. 

I needn't have been disappointed cause it wasn't over yet. 

No, we were slowing down just so we could change direction. Because it's even more fun to do the flips and spins backwards.

Years ago I read somewhere that as you get older you're more prone to fall victim to motion sickness. Especially going backwards. I have now proven that fact to be true.

Not long after we started going backwards I realised that there was a good reason that my mother had warned me not to go on wild rides after eating all those years ago. That deep-fried potato floating on a raft of Snicker's ice cream didn't feel so good any more. I had a Phil Dunphy flashback.

All the fun had gone out of the ride and all I could do was focus on keeping what was in my stomach IN my stomach. There was a lot of swallowing. And a bit of praying that it would all end soon. I did not want to be the old lady who started an epic chain-reaction. 
You can thank me later for using the cartoon Gif. The other one was a little more graphic.

When the ride started to slow again, I was probably the happiest person on board. I was off as soon as they unbuckled me. I needed to walk to settle what was still sloshing around in my stomach. And I needed to find the nearest loos just in case the walking didn't work.

The walking didn't work. And I did find the loos in time. And I tried to throw up as quietly as possible. And then I felt better for a little while. Until I didn't any more. 

The second toilet visit was even more spectacular. And though I thought I'd managed to keep my vomiting to myself I knew I'd failed when I heard voices from the next cubical.

"You only think you want to vomit because you can smell it"

I think it'll be a while till I visit the Ekka again. And I'm pretty sure my wild-ride days are over. 


  1. Oh poor thing. I used to love those cheap carnival rides (when we got to go - it was a huge treat for us, since there were about a billion kids in the family) and I'm afraid to see what would happen to me now. Probably the same as happened to you!

  2. Only ever been on one ride and it wasn't good I don't take to turning round in circles...

    At least we can run!

  3. Ah. I think I've learned that lesson already. It's more fun to enjoy the food, keep it down, and watch OTHERS ride those rides. :-D

  4. Oh my. I like to think I still "have it" too. Maybe not so much.

  5. I just saw this ride on the internet and watched a video and thought, "Nope!" Wow! You're impressive to even go on it.

  6. Michael is our big thrill-seeker with rides like that. They make me wanna puke too. We also have events like that around here, we call them County Fairs - and the food there too is crazy.

  7. And, to think, all of that nasty spewing could have been prevented if the ride had ended after the first round!!!
    I have never liked rides - they don't make me sick - I just don't like the feeling!!!

  8. Few weeks ago someone opened a new pub near my home named Ekka, and I didn't understand what it could mean.... now I know.
    Thank you teacher!

  9. Oh no! I have also noticed that my tolerance for wild rides is much less than it was when I was younger...but I haven't (yet) lost my stomach contents testing this out. I hope it didn't ruin the rest of your day out!

  10. It isn't the Ekka until someone's been sick! Very dignified of you to make it to the toilets.

  11. I know it's hard on you but I had to giggle a bit about the story. I have always been a chicken with wild rides, even when I was young and now that I'm "old" I don't even go in them anymore. But I can totally imagine how you were "praying" that it was over, that sounds familiar.

  12. Haha! I prefer to go on the ride first - THEN indulge in the food. (Although the one usually cancels out the desire for the other.)

  13. Ack! I had to giggle when reading this, because I have felt the very same way. I am glad I am not alone!

  14. I used to love scary rides when I was young. LOVED them! And yet in my late 20s / early 30s I went on something with my niece and almost barfed! Plus now I'm concerned about human error and find myself examining bolts and screws keeping things together!

  15. My wild-riding days were over the day my mother gave birth to me; I've never been able to go on anything without barfing, not even a kiddie roller coaster. My kids loved me when we'd go to Disneyland because as they'd go on the rides, I'd just get a place in line for the next ride so they won't have to wait so long. Oh the things a mother will do.

    I'd been pretty bummed to not keep that gelato inside! :)


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you.