When in Queensland one must visit various theme parks, jump off high platforms, dive into water slides, shoot around in rollercoasters and other assorted frightening activities. I was keen to experience a covered over water slide, something I’ve always been terrified of. In fact, I’d never been on one for fear of the following: A) getting stuck behind an obese water-slider, B) going too slowly and being hit in the back by a faster water-slider, and C) both of the aforementioned disasters culminating in one mega-squeeze resulting in drowning, concussion and loss of bathers. However, since 2009 was the year of me doing everything I’ve wanted to do for a long time (and all of the things I’ve been too scared to do for a long time) I bought my ticket for Wet’n'Wild water park early whilst still in Victoria and looked forward with some concern to my trip on a covered over water slide.
It was on the last day or so of my holiday that I decided to go and I arranged for my cousins and a few friends to come with me. It sounded like a swell day (pardon the pun) and I headed off with my aunt (who dropped me off at the gorgeously comfortable time of 9:00am, an hour before the park opened. I didn’t care though, the thought of careening down water slopes and getting slightly nauseated after being flung around on a rollercoaster spurred me on.
Eventually the park opened, still no sign of my cousins and friends but I didn’t mind. Maybe I could just have a look around, familiarise myself with the park layout (I thought to myself). Fifteen minutes or so into my water filled adventure I receive calls and messages from all of those that were supposed to come with me cheerfully informing me that they were no longer able to come. Wet’n'Wild is a fun park, but going on rollercoasters and screaming to no one but yourself, or travelling down water slides and telling no one about the scariest part afterwards is really no fun at all. And, Wet’n'Wild park tickets (which are incidentally like $50 or so) are non-refundable, nor can you leave and reenter the park.
So I looked at the looming rides around me, now partially miffed that I was alone. I decided that I would try the least wetting ride first, the roller coaster (something like “wave boarder” or “surf coaster”). While in line I found myself chatting to two friendly girls from Adelaide who then asked me if I would like to join them (after I told them my sad story). This was great, however as anyone who has been to these types of water parks would know that the rides generally take two or four people in tubes, inflatable boats and floatation devices. This posed a problem as there were only three of us at any given time. Of course, the two new friends would band together when it was a two person ride which left me with the option of either not going or of finding an unsuspecting water-slide volunteer. I chose the latter and made other acquaintances – Amy from Sydney, Jules from London, Sam from Byron Bay, and Mariah from Darwin. All lovely, all friendly, all on Facebook, and all happy to slide down a ride with me. I ended up meeting a huge band of people from Sydney also whom I then ended up spending half of the day with. I enjoyed the day far more than I ever would have with my cousins and assorted friends from the Gold Coast.
So, the moral of the story is, not to “organise yourself better”, “be sensible” or “don’t talk to strangers”. It is instead, “go to theme parks on your own, look friendly, talk to other friendly people, invite strangers to go on watersides with you, and turn your phone off so you can’t hear your cousins calling you”.