Sunday, July 26, 2009

The ultimate peril

It's the strangest thing but I am truly terrified of theme park rides.

No, actually, that's not the strangest thing. The strangest thing is I'm on one now.

Well, theme park rides are scary: you might agree sympathetically. In fact, not enjoying being tied down and flung into a situation where by any rights you should perish might even be considered healthy. Then you might wonder how I am writing a blog. Even allowing for the fact that I've probably uploaded a written note later, a ferocious roller coaster does not normally produce extended prose.

The reason I am able to construct sentences is because I'm actually seated in a pink gondola on a "Hello Kitty" Ferris wheel. The speed? Hmm, anyone been on the London Eye?

This wheel is in Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo Bay. Its purpose is simply to provide great views of some of Tokyo's craziest architecture and it moves so slowly it never has to stop; people just hop on and off as the gondolas swing by the lowest point. The views, of course, were why I'd embarked this metallic creation of hell, before remembering that I'm terrified of such things just as the cute little pink door clicked shut.

I have no explanation for my fear. Many other things do not bother me at all. Standing up to address eminent scientists about my research? No problem. Moving to a country 6000 miles away which I've never visited? Nothing to it! A "Hello Kitty" observation wheel? Holy crap.

So here I sit, pumped with adrenaline, writing furiously to keep a sense of perspective while a sweet little voice talks to me in Japanese from a speaker above my head. Seriously, if Godzilla were to climb this Ferris wheel now, I would so have him.


Now it has switched to English. It's telling me that we've reached the highest point on the ride.

Gee, thanks.

I'm really glad I didn't get a see-through capsule. Okay, I have to take a photo:

:: Clicks and looks at camera screen ::

Hmm, pretty.

No, this is ridiculous, I have to look....

... know what? Not so bad.

Elizabeth 1 : Hello Kitty Ferris Wheel 0

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