Growing up, there was no equivalent to the electrifying delight I felt on a thrill ride -or a roller coaster- in a theme or amusement park. I always went for the most scary and dangerous looking ride, stood in line forever, and then screamed my lungs out until my throat was sore. I adored the fear, the moment of Uh-oh regret when you are just about to plunge or speed, the wind that tackles your face, and the tears of laughter as you tumble off afterwards and head to see your goofy face on the ride’s monitors while the adrenaline rush still pumps your blood so hard, you can actually hear the blood flow in your ear veins.
I was always told by the elders in my family that one day I will not be able to go on rides anymore. I laughed it off, there were plenty of old people queuing for those thrill rides and I could easily envision myself, a sixty-years-old funky grandma standing in line with her grandchildren waiting to go on yet another adventure. My only problem was having a partner who would do ride on those game with me as I wasn’t fond of going on them with a total stranger and going alone felt a bit pathetic to me back in the day.
Then one day when I was in my late twenties, I went on a silly ride in Al-Sha’ab park and it wasn’t even scary, but after I got off I felt quite light-headed afterwards, like my brain had somehow been shaken too hard and now it was hitting the sides of my skull, which of course hurt a lot. I took a moment to breathe then I tried to go on another ride but my stomach couldn’t handle it either so I didn’t, with an astonished feeling of dread building inside me. A year later I tried to go on a thrill ride again but, alas, it seems now that whenever I go on a scary ride that tumbles away in the air a little too fast, I would get the same feeling in my head which causes my stomach to be sick and I knew, with the most painful heart-wrenching feeling ever, that my riding days were behind me, and I will be the cool grandma queuing with her grandchildren despite the protests of their parents no more.
I used to be especially fond of the “ship”, one that would go from side to side, gaining a bit of altitude on the way up. I’d go on it three or four times between thrill rides, just for the fun of it. I can still ride the bumper cars though, but I stopped bothering once I got my driving license at 18 and could stop pretending I was really driving a car.
What a pity, I guess the older people were right and time did catch up with me after all. I wonder why I feel that woozy when I go on rides now? I miss my adventurous days and I always feel a pang of envy whenever I see screaming youthful people going on thrill rides and screaming their lungs off, releasing all the negative energy into the air and replacing it with laughter and exhilarating euphoria, the way I used to enjoy it before.
Do you love to go on rides? Did you ever, like me, stop being able to go? Why? Oh and enjoy it if while you can and spare me the fear, nothing will happen to you, have fun!