Sunday, February 24, 2008

Phones and Motorcycles

Not long ago, my wife had a post called "too bad I don't have a camera phone," which talked about some very Ukrainian cultural experiences. Yesterday, for a brief moment, I wished I had a camera phone to capture what I thought was going to be a very American cultural experience with Dietrich.

We were in a nearby mall and, while Josie shopped for a few things, I did my best to entertain Dietrich. It helped that there was an indoor skating rink (plastic, not ice) since Dietrich loves other little kids and can spend quite a while simply observing them. His dad, on the other hand, got bored after a while and looked for some other amusing distractions. I noticed a few of those riding machines for little kids—a spaceship and a race car, to be exact—but they required that you put the kid in them alone, so they were intended for kids a little older than little D. But around the bend I saw a few more machines—a horse and a police motorcycle, to be exact—and they were just Dietrich's size. I could stand nearby and hold him on the machine while it did its thing.

Next I tried to insert some coins. There was no way any standard Ukrainian coin was going to fit into the slot that seemed to be the intended place of insertion. I walked over to the spaceship and race car and noticed a sign (printed on a standard sheet of paper in Ukrainian, not Russian) that might have been telling me where to get tokens from, but I couldn't read it. I walked back to the horse and motorcycle and noticed the same sign nearly hidden between two huge, illuminated, protruding posters for clothing. Finding the sign wasn't much help, since I still couldn't read it, so I asked a nearby security guard how to use the machines and, since he answered me in Russian, I was off to get a coin.

$1.00 later, and for the first and last time at that price, we headed toward the motorcycle (no pink and baby blue horses for my son!). I put in the oddly but properly shaped token, held Dietrich on the motorcycle and we were off. That was the moment I wished I had a camera phone. But it was a brief moment. Within 5 to 7 seconds, he was certain that he did not like this black and white contraption with its flashing lights and poorly tuned, quite loud engine. I promptly took him off, gave him a few seconds to recover and gave it another shot. He let out a ear piercing shriek and we were done with the riding machine experiment for the winter of 2008.

No need for a camera phone just yet.


dmartin10 said...

That is funny, Eric. Maybe he will have a healthy, life-saving fear of motorized two-wheeled vehicles as a result of this traumatic experience. Glad you get to share such moments with him.

shaun said...

Uh, Dietrich has ERIC for a dad. We'll be lucky if he has a life-saving fear of ANYTHING.

ladyjane said...

what a relief that our grandbaby won't be riding a motorcyle anytime soon!

fong said...

I would love to ride a blue horse.

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