06 May 2006

Everything but funnel cakes and a tractor pull

We made our mark on a one-thousand-year-old tradition today by attending the annual Foire du Trône in the Bois de Vincennes. This turned out to be much more like a summer carnival than I expected. In fact, it was exactly like a summer carnival, except that there were no funnel cakes. (I suspect that the French, upon explanation of what a funnel cake is, banned them from the country all together.) All we really needed was a good tractor pull / monster truck rally, and we would have been all set!

The lack of American Midwest flavor was not the only difference in the French version of the traveling carnival. First off, the prizes can be WAY better! There were many games in which you could win such things as flat-screen TVs, home entertainment systems, and dune buggies! Of course, the best prize was the one that Stephanie pointed out: you could win rims! How ghetto-fabulous is that?

Colin will also want me to point out the booth in the background of the photo at the left. It's for a game called "Mexico" -- but none of the flags flying above the booth are Mexican flags. You have the Union Jack, the Portuguese flag, the French flag, and the Italian flag. What the heck?

The rest of the day is best expressed in pictures ...

Doug and Stephanie on one of the two ferris wheels. Stephanie is a teensy bit afraid of heights, so I left out her death-grip handle on the gondola itself. Unfortunately, the child that secured us in our gondola also thought it would be really fun to spin us around as fast as he could. We managed to stop it fairly quickly, but everyone left a little bit dizzy. (I'm not kidding about the child part, by the way. There is no way that this carnival worker was more than 10 years old.)

Doug and Stephanie had seen this character before, but in a better context. While this one is holding a sign with the menu, the one that they saw had a "No Smoking" sign in its hand! (Doug pointed out that the fry in his mouth looks an awful lot like a joint, and the expression on its face doesn't really help matters.)

In the first of a several part series, here is my first photo under the heading of "things you wouldn't see in the US." Maybe you can't see what the fuss is about in this shot, so allow me to zoom in on the game ...

To be fair, though, it is a beach theme and going topless on a European beach is no big deal. However, there is NO WAY you could get away with the following theme on a haunted house in the states.

Yes, that is a painting of a "woman of ill repute," right next to a slogan that says "For The Family"! Other than lots of paintings of scantilly-clad women, there was also a notice in English that said, "A dollar for a dance!" (I can just picture the look on Bill O'Reilly face over this one!) Anyway, we decided to pass on this ... um ... attraction.

Colin and Doug took a spin on the rollar coaster. Unfortunately, it was the kind that shakes so much that you end up with a headache (or in Colin's case, a jaw ache because he was too tall for the head pads.) Yet another difference in Frenchie-Land ... no one is going to sue here if they get a headache on a ride!


At 6/5/06 22:07, Blogger croust said...

Three additional comments about the "woman of ill repute" haunted/fun house:

1) Amy only took a picture of one of the scantily clad women adorning this ride. There were three or four others in various states of undress...

2) This year's new feature for this attraction: on the top floor, you get a "dance"! A "top dance" that is... Considering one of the haunted houses had some guy in a bad werewolf costume running around grabbing and scaring the people on the ride, I'll leave you to guess what a "top dance" actually is...

3) Finally, I'm puzzled by the word painted behind the woman in Amy's photo: "BOO!" Doesn't seem to go well with the theme...do you think they left it at that since there wasn't any room for "BIES" on the end?

At 7/5/06 03:05, Blogger KatHarrmann said...

That sounds like one scary-ass carnival!!! :)

At 9/5/06 18:06, Anonymous Rachel said...

So funny! I'm sorry I missed it! Glad you guys had fun. (I think?!)


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