Friday, May 4, 2007


No, we haven't moved to Rio -- it wasn't that kind of carnival! A carnival has sprung up near Xiada for Golden Week. Remember the “circus” that Zoe saw on her field trip? Well, we found it. The highlight for me was the view from the top of the ferris wheel, but Zoe and Maya named as their favorites, “Everything!”

We started out on the carousel, a double decker one – I’ve never before seen a carousel with two levels! Maya announced that she wanted to ride in the “BEAUTIFUL carriage” as we were standing in line.
Zoe started out in the carriage, but spied a panda next to it and jumped ship.

Next stop the ferris wheel! This was obviously the star attraction of the carnival – it’s the only ride where we had to stand in line for any appreciable time. But it wasn’t long before they were cramming us and 3 others into a car only big enough for 4 people!
As you can tell from the photo, Maya and Zoe were a little nervous at first. Zoe was very solicitous of Maya, because "Maya, you've never been this high before, but it's ok." But Zoe was just as nervous -- I could tell because she was sucking her "comfort finger." I told Zoe that Maya had been that high before -- even higher on the airplane -- and so had she. That seemed to do the trick, and soon they warmed up to this new experience and were eagerly looking around.

The door to our conveyance clanged shut, and then up we go!

Being situated near the shore, we got great views of the water, the boats, and GulangYu (Yu = island) just offshore.

In the other direction we could see Xiada (the white wing-like thing is the stadium, and you can see the tall main administration building to the right of it) and Five-Old-Man Mountain.

Outside Xiada is mostly residential areas, so the tall buildings you see here are apartments.

The view straight down was actually my favorite, because the brightly-striped carnival tents made such a pretty picture.

This one, shot straight down from the highest point on the ferris wheel, doesn't even look real!

The girls rode a few more rides after the ferris wheel – a swinging pirate ship, little boats . . .

. . . and airplanes complete with machine guns to shoot down the enemy (why are we so blood-thirsty here?!)

Then a close encounter with a clown, and we were out of tokens and ready to go.

While the girls were riding their rides, some of the carnival workers would talk to me, eager for a chance to speak English. Most of them are from the Phillipines, traveling all over Asia with the carnival. One was excited to hear we were from Texas since he has an aunt in Dallas – he says his aunt wants him to come to Texas when he finishes his schooling, but he is too busy traveling to finish school. The carnival rides seemed safer -- newer and better maintained -- than most rides of the type we find in China. At least I didn't feel we were risking death as we rode each ride!

We left the carnival just in time – rain started spitting on us just as we were leaving. We ducked into Lin Duck House on our way home for a hearty lunch and to avoid the rain. And then home again.
What a busy morning! We left our apartment around 9:30, and were back by 1:30. And in that time we discovered new places at Xiada, found the beach, enjoyed a carnival, and ate fried squid and clams at one of our favorite restaurants. A golden day in Golden Week!


Anonymous said...

The clown made a peace sign in the picture too! You can't fight this thing.

malinda said...

LOL! I know, it is ubiquitous, isn't it?! The other day I was asked to pose for a picture with some stranger -- this happens all the time, BTW. But this time I found myself flashing the peace sign, too! If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

mimifrancoise said...

We are having connection problems. Can't receive nor send email. I hope this will go through. See you soon.