Ocean Park

Monday – Ocean Park day! Since the last time I went there was when I was 2 or 3 years old, I was actually looking forward to it more than I thought I would (or would admit for fear of looking sad). We’d bought >$38 of Japanese snacky goodness from good ol’ Okashi Land, home of all that is tasty and not nutritious but highly calorific from the land of the Rising Sun, so we got a free scratch card. We did get one before but I scratched off both silver panels due to lack of understanding of the Chinese instructions, thus invalidating it. D’oh. But Mum scratched the panel the 2nd time around to reveal a prize of 10% off Ocean Park entrance for up to four people. Huzzah!!

So having got our smugly obtained cheaper tickets, we went to face Mum’s nemesis – the dreaded cable car going up to the park summit. Aaagh! She really wasn’t exaggerating how scared she was of the thing. She had her sunglasses on and eyes closed, and was holding my hand the whole way through. I was trying to twist round to admire the views of the mountain and harbour from above meanwhile. We had to tell Mum when we got to the end and it was safe to open her eyes again. Was considering pretending we were there while we were still in the air thought I shouldn’t be so evil. Plus she might not have believed me when we actually got there.

When we got to the top, the dolphin and seal show had started already so we caught the last half of that and all the cheesy music that accompanies that sort of thing. As well as cringy voiceovers and acting in Cantonese AND English. Nice. Dolphins were very acrobatic indeed, not seen one do a double flip before.

Afterwards we (just me and bro as Mum would’ve been bloody TERRIFIED if the cable car scared the bejesus out of her) hit the rides. I haven’t been on many theme park rides as for the majority of my life I’ve been below the minimum height requirements for any of the good ones, so was pretty chicken shit seeing as the rides weren’t all that compared with some others (Thorpe Park, anyone?). When we went the queues weren’t too long, and luckily the queue areas for some of the rides were covered to minimise death from heatstroke.

We went on:

1. The Crazy Galleon. Typical swingy ship thing, to simulate Ye Olden Days when ships would be grabbed by giant squid, octopi, the Kraken and suchlike and flung around. Arrrg!!

Repeat x10. We ate lunch in front of this ride and every time people reacted the same way.

2. Darn, what was this called again? Depth Drop? The one where you get lifted up and dropped downwards.

3. The Dragon. Dum………..da-dum! Think of Bruce Lee. A rollercoaster that (in their words) goes at 77km/hr and goes upside-down three times. And so it does. Can’t be pissed to draw it, plus can’t remember what it looks like. Here’s a vague representation:

The model of The Dragon ride. See the resemblance??

We sat right at the front. It was fun, if a bit scary. Almost gave me whiplash.

We also had to endure a huge mass of mainland Chinese tour groups and other tourists at the aquariums and Mum and bro had a half hour wait in line to get McDs in what must be one of the longest queues for McDs ever. Has anyone ever wanted to wait that long for a Filet O’Fish? During that time, while I was trying in vain to defend our table, a middle-aged Indian lady started talking to me. This is all fine and good, I don’t mind making small talk with strangers. However this was like the Spanish Inquisition – a constant barrage of questions about my daily life. I don’t think she said anything that wasn’t a question unless I asked e.g. “So, India’s really hot right now isn’t it?”, to which she would give one word answers (serves me right for asking closed questions I guess). It was all “what do you eat for breakfast”, “what do you eat for lunch”, “what do you eat for (you guessed it) dinner”, “what do you use to wash your face”, “how come you’re so white”, etc etc. It was the weirdest conversation I’ve had with a stranger and creeped me out somewhat. Will have to ask Indian colleagues whether this is standard practice or if she was just mental.

On the way back down to the park entrance, we discovered there was a new train to and from the summit, which in four quick minutes allows one to bypass the terrifying and evil cable car. Sorry Mum. In the queue to get on, some mainland Chinese crone barged in front of us. Then to add insult to injury she pushed her friend in front too! Cue much eyebrow raising between us and typical under-the-breath British-style muttering whilst not confronting them. Stiff upper lip, rah!

No, the above is not my representation of the queue-jumping crone, but a freaky goldfish. I should never attempt to draw one ever again as it looks like some mutant demonic creature. There was a goldfish house in the Ocean Park Chinese animal section, which also has disappointingly empty panda and alligator sections as well. There are one or two of each and are not really that exciting. The alligator was about a foot long. Anyway, I was wondering why people like freaky fish with bulbous heads, puffed up eye bags, grossly fat bodies and such tiny fins in comparison that even in their tiny tanks they hardly manage to waddle from one end to the other. In end they’ll breed one like the monstrosity I drew overleaf. Mark my words!

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