A few weeks back DH surprised me by booking a trip to KL for the first week of the Easter break. After travelling through the night, we arrived just a tad worse for wear, at the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa. The hotel adjoins the Sunway Lagoon, a large water park, which advertises itself as ‘Asia’s best attraction’.
Coming from Dubai, it is difficult to top Aquaventure at the Atlantis Hotel or even Wild Wadi. For our Dubaian family Yas Waterworld remains untested but promises to squash any regional competition, and from what I hear, probably any contemplated future opposition from west or east of the region!
Looking down on the water park from our as not as advertised ‘luxury’ hotel (but that’s another story), we couldn’t help but think ‘Asia’s best attraction’ didn’t look so great, and after 20 years, looked in need of more than just a lick of paint! It looked tired, run down as and old fashioned.
Day 2 – we decided to venture into the water park. Anticipating the Aquaventure-familiar kids’ disappointed reaction of ‘is this it?’, we ‘talked up’ the other interesting aspects of the park, such as the zoo and the amusement park area, in the hope these attractions would detract from the apparent inadequacies of the actual water park.
Not necessary! The sun bleached, rusty, leaking water rides proved an instant hit! Mounting inflatable, double water rings (not something which can ever be accomplished gracefully by an adult I might add), and riding the gushing waves were fodder enough for the overexcited shrills of delight that screamed ‘more’ before they had even disembarked the ride at the end!
In this kind of kids’ entertainment DH is a star, always willing to jump on in there with them, and get his feet wet so to speak. 5 is not a great number for water parks given most of the equipment is designed for single or double jaunts. Happy to sit on the cheering lines and be grateful it’s not me winding down the slippery, snake like carbon fibre rides, I still knew my ‘spectator’ status would not last!
Before long, I am dragged into the Python ride.
I walked up what felt like the 99 steps with a double bouncy ring balanced on my head. DS2 was a whippet up the steps, urging me on with the enthusiasm of a Mum attending the first sports day of her first born! The ground was rough, and it was impractical to wear flip flops as they were forbidden entry beyond the first gate (just like glasses, caps, sunglasses and basically anything other than a swimsuit). By the time I reached the top of the first ride, I was out of puff and the sunblock/sweat mix was stinging my eyes (gosh, I had forgotten just how humid Asia can be…).
DS2’s shrieks, as we plummeted to what felt like certain death, oozed pure joy. Mummy’s silence conveyed a more cautious approach to these death defying monster rides…….especially those which started off in dark, closed in tunnels….
On to the next ride….the bumpy slide, as it became known by DS2. It looked innocuous enough, and was out in the open, in daylight. In fact it looked more than doable. DS2 and I hauled our blue rubber mats up another gazillion rough, stone steps which ground into the soles and balls of my feet like a podiatrist doing battle with centuries’ long uncared for feet, to take our places to race down the slide.
Hmmm….’Innocuous’ is now not a word I would use to describe the ‘bumpy’ slide. Kids get off to a much quicker start but within seconds, adults’ weight takes over and they hurtle past the kids, clinging to the mats’ handles for dear life. By the time I hit (and yes, I mean ‘hit’), the 3rd bump, I thought I might take flight! By the time I reached the bottom of the ride, I felt lucky to be alive!!
‘Again‘ cried DS2, without even waiting to see if I wanted to do the ride again…..Just like at every adventure park since entering parenthood, my time was not my own, and I did not have a voice.
After a lot of ‘agains’, I was fit to surrender, and if it had been wartime, my list of injuries probably would have excused me: a twice bashed my ankle dripping blood, a battered elbow which stung as if it had been doused in vinegar, 2 grazed knees, a lump of skin missing from my toe, and a very badly chipped pedi! Indeed I am sure I bruised an internal organ by my 4th go. Not to mention my dignity which was flung into oblivion when the force of the H2O breaker at the bottom of the slide practically disrobed me to reveal my assets to the lifeguard waiting at the end of the slide.
And all DS2 could say was ‘Mummy, can we come here tomorrow?’ All I could think of were my abused feet and ‘much in need of medical treatment’ wounds ……’we’ll see’ I said. ‘We’ll see.’