Luna Park Happyland is another small collection of children’s rides found within a small park in the Maryino municipal district, which is located southeast of the city by the river. Supposedly this is one of the most populated parts of Moscow, although the walk from the metro station to the park was through a largely quiet commercial area (well, it was quiet once we got past the McDonald’s. McDonald’s, whose unmistakable aroma made my nose bleed temptation and my stomach clench in angry growls the second we got off the subway. McDonald’s, whose “white meat” chicken nuggets were going to be my only source of protein while in Moscow. McDonald’s, whose…guys, do we like seriously really need this credit?)
Luna Park Happyland was probably the most rural looking of Moscow’s city parks. Its dirt pathways certainly lent that impression, along with abundant trees and thousands of tiny, white wildflowers in the grass.
That is, of course, until you looked up to see those ever ubiquitous Soviet era apartment complexes lining the surrounding streets.
As usual, I took a few of the requisite “here are things besides the roller coaster” photos, like this flat ride of junked up critters twirling around a sentient stone tower that’s really a clown wearing a Christmas light roof hat with a big ass blue bird nesting on top of it. Because.
It was during this time that a ride operator approached and asked via a combination of Russian, broken English, gestures and incessant smiling if I wanted to ride. I nodded and did my best to convey that I was waiting for other people and a ticket.
He smiled as this went back and forth a few times. I didn’t know if I was getting the message across. It didn’t matter.
Some languages are universal.
He was feeling the love tonight.
And my, isn’t that kiddie flume interesting! And those Pepsi umbrellas! WOW, THAT BENCH IS RIGHT UNDER THE TREE; CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! Richard and Tal and George and Martin and anyone, where the fuck ARE YOU?!?!?
A thousand years later, Martin appeared with tickets.
This train seemed so friendly and cute compared to today’s earlier versions. Then the ride op made sure to fasten my seat belt, completely ignoring whether or not anyone else wore theirs. Suddenly, being dragon chow didn’t seem like such a bad option.
(Tired of this yet? No? Good. There will be more.)
This coaster was good. At least, that’s what I told the ride op afterwards when he asked me and no one else.
Credit obtained, we proceeded to haul out of there. Apparently George had been told that photographing wasn’t allowed and we wanted to leave in case anyone gave us a hard time about the photos we’d taken before we knew about this. Personally, I was ready to get away from Ride Op the Horny.
On the walk back to the metro, we confirmed that we would, in fact, make another go at Victory Park.
I was winning even before we got there. We ate at the McDonald’s we’d passed earlier :)