Adventures of a Uni Student

Easily my favorite thing about being a creative industries student at university is the massive amount of holidays I get to indulge in. I usually don’t have exams, so end up with about four months off at the end of each year. You jelly? 😉

I like to travel as much as I can, so I usually spend a part of this time overseas. Last year I embarked on a trip around South East Asia with two mates, which entailed some awesome experiences. We visited Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – a trip I’d highly recommend. There was definitely some unique and interesting adventures involved, and here’s one of them…

Whilst walking through the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, my friend and I stumbled across what appeared to be a theme park. It wasn’t exactly what you’d picture when you think of a theme park, but either way, we were craving some form of entertainment, so settled on returning later that night. Now, the theme of this ‘theme park’ was unknown. The location of other customers was also unknown. Why we seemed to be the only humans who knew of this place – a baffling mystery. We assumed DreamLand’s marketing mustn’t be up to scratch, and I guess you could say we were about to embark on a completely unique (and to our discovery, frightening) entertainment experience.

The Grand Entrance

So after a couple beers to ease our nerves, we arrived at our first ride. It looked like one of those rides which spun around until you were stuck to the walls. This one had no walls however, just a hard leather bench. So we sat on the bench and the ride started to spin. It spun at an awkward speed that didn’t really force you to your seat but at the same time didn’t allow for a whole lot of movement. Being the only ones on the ride, and quite possibly the only ones to use the attraction all night, we had no prior indication of what the ride actually did. For this reason, it was a complete surprise when the ride started to viciously jump and jerk around, throwing us off the bench and onto the floor, which happened to be ingeniously layered with a harsh red carpet (with sandpaper-like texture). So there we were, on the floor, being mauled by this Cambodian theme park ride, and as we swung past the operator, I could have sworn to hear an evil laugh as he pushed the ride to its jerking limits (indicated by some unnerving sounds).

As the saying goes; don’t judge a Cambodian theme park by its looks.

We were stuck in an interesting circumstance between enjoying the ride and being scared of the experience (not for the usual thrill park reasons), and our evaluation of the situation was summed up with three letters; WTF. This summary was reinforced by the fact that after not five, not ten, but fifteen minutes later the ride had still not stopped. By this point we were signalling with the hand to neck signal to stop the ride as we had definitely had enough. It took the operator a while to get the signal (cultural barrier maybe?) but finally the ride slowed down. We dizzyingly stumbled towards the exit, only to be thrown back to the sandpaper as he cunningly reactivated the deadly jerking motion. He continued with his antics for several rounds, thoroughly enjoying himself in the process. When he did decide to finally end our torment, we emerged bloody and bruised, literally. An interesting look was exchanged with the mischievous operator as we left the site, nevertheless thanking him for the very, very unique experience.

Lunch the next day…

4 responses

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  1. Avatar
    Leyla

    I can’t believe you actually had the balls to go on a ride. I went to a carnival in Fiji, took one look at the 1920s era ferris wheel, and thought ‘nope’. Nice work man 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Hayley

    Next time you’re on the L&R Desk I’m going to come and pick your brains about Malaysia / Vietnam, I’m heading over in January and so far I’m basically winging it. Don’t even have a flight home yet!

    • Avatar
      Xavier

      Haha love it Hayley! Winging it is definitely the way to go. Pretty jealous you’re heading over there!

  3. Avatar
    Hannah

    Heya Xavier! I’m a QUT Film student too that also loves traveling, and funnily enough, I’m actually planning a really similar trip to southeast Asia at the end of this year. This was such a funny post. Will definitely be avoiding any “theme parks” if I see them 😉

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