If you ever miss the feeling of being a kid, there is always a great solution; a carnival/fair. There is nothing more riveting than walking through a gate into a fairgrounds and literally nostalgically smelling your childhood.
I went to EKKA this weekend. For you non- Australian folk, that technically just means one giant fair. It is the Queensland (which is a state) fair and it is located in Brisbane. A lot like Oregon State Fair, but bigger and crazier rides. I’m not kidding these rides were massive, terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.
I rode the bus from Brady’s house straight to EKKA (gotta love public transportation and big cities) and stepped off the bus into a whole different world. Here I am smack dab in the middle of a giant city and there is a real, live, legit, country bogan, fairgrounds. I was shocked. I expected the bus to take us into the country, but nope leave it to Australians to be country in a big city. Brady and I walked over to the ticket counter and waited in line. So here’s the thing, back home a day pass into fair is about $12, but EKKA was $30! Just to enter! Which normally I would say is absurd and leave because I hate spending money.. But it’s EKKA and a once in a lifetime thing. Naturally I sucked it up and handed over my colorful, plastic dollars and held back the tears. I mean I did step off the bus knowing I’d be spending some pretty pennies throughout the day. The instant I walked through the gate I looked to my left and saw a wood cutting competition (yes you read that correct). It was so strange and there was quite the crowd getting into it. Brady and I decided we’d walk around and check everything out before doing anything else. It was crazy! The rides were huge, the food smelled delicious and it wasn’t all too crowded. It was nice! Back home I never go to the fair during the day because it’s hot and crowded with little kids (plus riding the rides at night is the thing to do), but we wanted as many hours as we could get. It was supposed to be a nice day and not too hot, so we lucked out with that. We roamed around a bit and took it all in. This was my first time seeing corn dogs in this country (they call them Dagwood dogs) and there was fairy floss everywhere (cotton candy, not sure which name I like better)! Even in the bush covered in dirt!
Back home has nothing on the rides here, they were frightening. We picked out the least intimidating one and tried to figure out how to buy tickets. Unfortunately there are no tickets and you have to pay individual for each ride, which is $10 a piece (yay more pretty pennies). The first ride was just a swinging, twisting one. It didn’t go upside down or anything, so we thought it was a safe choice. We. Were. Wrong. It was terrifying. All there was to strap us in was a waist bar and I honestly would think to suggest a shoulder bar. I felt like a kid again though and was laughing hysterically in delight. As a kid I always wanted to be a super hero and wanted to fly, and so I would always swing on every swing set I laid eyes on. I honestly felt like I was flying (and then falling) and it went on forever. I loved it. I had so much fun and laughed the whole time, while Brady was screaming (hopefully with delight), but it was still awful at the same time. Naturally when I got off I was a bit nauseous and had to wait a bit before continuing my day. Brady and I felt drunk and were stumbling around trying to find a place to relax, it was hilarious. At this point I was extremely warm and regretting wearing a quarter sleeve. We also agreed that the crazy rides should wait until right before our departure so we wouldn’t ruin our day being sick.
They have these things called show bags and it’s just a bag filled with certain themed items. Brady bought a Star Wars one and it contained: a t-shirt, hat, poster, cards, cup and some other small trinkets. It was like twenty bucks. They were actually really neat and I would have gotten one if I had found a theme I liked! We sat inside the show bag room for a bit until I felt better and then went to roam around some more. Outside of the show bag room was a fireman calendar fundraiser and so naturally we took pictures and helped the cause (you’re welcome Mandy). We walked around this one area with the rides, some food vendors and animals for an hour or so before we realized that we were only in like 1/5 of the fair. We had to cross some train station to get to the rest. This place was huge. We were on a hunt for elephant ears (just the fried dough kind) and henna. EKKA has so much to offer and I am sure we only found the surface. We looked at the baby animal exhibit and checked out the dog show barn. I bought a yummy watermelon slushee in hopes of cooling me down a bit and then went to look in this market place. I bought a new ring and it was only $4, so i’m sure my finger will turn blue in a few days! Brady found henna, but I talked her out of it because you can’t move for a long time and what fun is fair if you can’t move!? My tummy started to grumble so I began my search for my late lunch and guess what I chose? DIPPIN DOTS. That’s right this country has Dippin Dots and I ate them for lunch (sorry mom). They were delicious! Back home the only place to find Dippin Dots is Clackamas County Mall in the food court and so I had to take advantage. Brady bought some chips on a stick (potato twist slice thing) with chicken salt seasoning. She didn’t like it so she gave it to me (yummmm!). She opted for a corn on the Cobb and we sat down to relax and eat our carnie treats. As we were munching on our food, I heard a tap dancer and thought to myself how strange. A tap dancer at a country fair? Well don’t worry, it wasn’t a tap dancer. It was a crack whip guy, making music with them!! It was crazy! His name is Nathan Griggs look him up! It was getting kind of late (4 o clock), so we decided it was time to finish off with some rides and hit the road. We had to come back across the train station to the ride area and noticed it had gotten insanely busy. I guess everyone else still likes to enjoy fair in the evening. Now there were long lines for all the rides that weren’t there before and we could barely walk without bumping into someone. We decided to end our adventure with three last rides. The first was a mini roller coaster that was so much fun. It reminded me a lot like a ride at Disneyland called Mall Hall n Madness. It jerks you around on the corners so feels like you’re going to fall out and then randomly starts spinning! The next was a lot like the scrambler back home and a couple times times I felt like I was getting whip lash!! The rides here go a bit longer and so just when I thought they’re ending it, it keeps going and i’m always caught off guard! The last one was an upside down one and to be honest wasn’t much fun! It kind of hurt and I ended up getting extremely naseous. While Brady was grabbing some show bags for her kids, I was lying on a curb trying not to die. It was awful and such a bummer ending to my day. Regardless I made it home without puking!
It was such a fun day. Something I really needed in fact. I have been a bit home sick and nostalgic for some of my past lately and I think EKKA really helped me out. I’ve come to realize I’ve grown up too fast and cut my childhood short a bit. It was really nice being able to let go and free the inner child for a day. Such a liberating feeling. I recommend a healthy dose of fair every once in a while for symptoms of nostalgia.