{.candy floss & ferris wheel.}

by devourslowly

Coney Island Shot - courtesy of Depuis @ http://www.etsy.com/shop/depuis no copyright infringement intended

I have been day-dreaming of amusement parks lately.

Not theme parks, amusement parks.  I am afraid of theme parks.

When I was a kid growing up in Taiwan, one of life’s greatest fascination was to watch the local street vendor winding clouds and clouds of pink and white candy floss onto a stick before the three of us inevitably devour the floss in record-breaking time.  Back in the 80s there was a tradition of mini amusement parks on the roof top of high-rise department stores.  We particularly liked the pirate ship and the ferris wheel at one of the department store mum frequented.  Back then, amusement parks were a very American concept. Like IBM.  They had a presence among us but really belonged to the ‘white-folks’.  I understand these roof-top-amusement-parks in Taiwan quietly got the heave-ho pretty soon after we left due to inadequate supervision and safety concerns.

When we first moved to New Zealand, not really appreciating that this place is more Brit than it is American, it struck me as odd that there is no amusement park culture over here.  (For those Kiwis reading this, Rainbow’s End does NOT count)    Which is a great shame really.  Sometimes I find myself watching Coney Island scenes from American films wishing that I was there, sitting in the giant teacup, spinning and spinning and spinning.  We don’t have spinning teacups here, nor do we have horses that go round ‘n round all day long.  We do not have a peninsula with a iconic amusement park, instead we have the Stewart Island which gives us oysters all year round.

I like to think that kids are happier and grow up more wholesome with amusement parks and local playgrounds.  I think physical play in the context of local jungle gyms make children more wonderous and curious.  The imagination takes over and suddenly the world becomes happier, brighter and more vibrant.

Not that Kiwi kids do not grow up with an iota of wholesomeness.  I think Kiwi kids grow up on rugby fields and the great outdoors that there is a tremendously different sense of wholesomeness that is rougher, stronger, more natural and perhaps less romantic.  The can-do attitude often triumphs over imagination and planning before action.  Which is great for the No. 8 wire mentality.  For dreamers like me however, we can all afford to be a bit more curious, a bit more wonderous and a bit more in the clouds.

By the way, if you have not already worked it out, though not usually of the American TV persuasion, I am definitely a Pushing Daisies fan.