Friday, May 30, 2008

Flamingo World and Souveniers

There are no flamingos at Flamingo World. It is also NOT Disney World which is what the original concept was meant to be. It's just, well, weird.

Today we went to Flamingo World. The sign billed it as Central Asia's Amusement Park. However, while it provided some much needed entertainment and relief from thinking about all things adoption and all things different, sadly, it is, at best to us Westerners, a very run down theme park. Josh had fun. We had fun. So, it that, it fulfilled it's purpose. It was inexpensive. Entry for two adults and one child (who got 10 rides), 250 som ($6.91). We also bought a fan for my mom, 100 som ($2.76), a couple of extra ride tickets (200 som - $4.52), a soda (50 som - $1.38), taxi fare to and from (200 som - $4.52), a bubble blowing fan for our new friend Aidai (100 som - $2.76), and time at a shooting gallery (50 som - $1.38). All total, $24.53. For a few hours of out of the hotel fun, you can't beat it. Here are a few pix from that excursion (and some running commentary):

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by concrete statues of "ELLIE"phants. Now, I'm not sure if they were meant to be Dumbo or what the significance was. I was pretty much unable to tie all the concurrently running themes together here.

This Asian style dragon is over in the reptile statue area. I'm not sure what the purpose of these statuary are BUT, they are unfortunately in disrepair and their signs are rusted out.

These cute little children are frolicking over an entrance way. Sadly, middle child's face is missing. Someone has patched over it with concrete. Kind of freaky.

We aren't sure what this sign says (as we don't read Russian either), but the weeds have overgrown much of it anyway.

I'm guessing this is the replica of Cinderella's castle. At the entrance is a Snow White sign replete with Cinderella and her castle. It is up top of this entry. So, is it Snow White or Cinderella -- couldn't decide?

I'm fascinated with the little girls here and sneak pictures when I can. I knew my mom would be fascinated by their crocheted hats as she has had some made for Ellie before we even knew it was the "style" for little girls here.

I'm not sure WHY this little girl was so dressed up to come to the park, but, maybe it was her birthday or something? She was very pretty.

After the park, our taxi driver dropped us at the Beta. Before we left, we had the hotel write this on a card so we could give it to him. Worked out fine. While there, I found a traditional Kyrgy outfit for Ellie, which is something I really wanted to get for her. This is about a size 2T, I'm guessing. No sizes in it as we are told they are made locally. It's very pretty with rhinestones and velvet vest and a satiny underdress. There is also a velvet hat. We've been looking for a tall (think princess :0) hat called a tebetei. A bride wears something similar with netting called a shokulo.

Here is some information I found online regarding girls Krygy dress:

Girls up to age seventeen wear long dresses (koinok). These dresses are semi-sheer, have high necklines, and have many layers of flounces or frills at the neck, sleeves, and skirt. White, red, yellow, and other bright colors indicating youth are preferred for girls. A sleeveless jacket (kamzol) is worn with the dress. These vests come in different lengths, but girls usually wear the shortest vests. The kamzol is made from heavy fabrics, usually velvet, and can be many colors; it is decorated with embellishments referred to as saima. The decorations are most extensive on the center front corners of the kamzol.

Girls' hair is traditionally arranged in about forty braids (besh kokul) and is covered by headdresses such as a cone-shaped hat (tebetei) that may have feathers and silver or gold coins, precious stones, pearls, threads, and beads.

We also got a pair of felt shoes for her a baby doll, a felt elephant ornament and a small felt yurt. I plan to get her a "barbie" in traditional dress as well, but I haven't found the one I want yet.

Visit Joshua's site for his narrative on today. It's always fun to hear his viewpoint on this trip!

Tomorrow we visit Ellie again. YAY!!

1 comment:

Pamela said...

Hmmm...very interesting theme park. Not sure what to make of it. But, it sounds like good, cheap fun, and, for less than $30 for a day of mindlessness...a total bargain!

I love reading your posts, Maria. It is great to follow along your journey!

You all are in my thoughts and prayers.