I know what you’re thinking. Surely you didn’t take a sleeping pill and then go to a theme park? That’s just ridiculous!
Ridiculous it is. And it happened. But it was totally unintentional and not at all recommended! Trust me to find myself accidentally high as a kite in a theme park.
After days on end of copious amounts of touristing by day, and the obligatory exploring of the social scene by night, my body decided enough was enough and it was going to force a break out of me. I woke up, after a fun night of the Viennese social scene where I had once again ignored the signs and decided I could power through, feeling like I had been hit by a truck. You know that flu-ey feeling where your everything hurts? That was me. Plus a splitting headache and some serious nausea. At first I thought maybe it was just a ruthless hangover, and accompanied the Wolfpack to the local kebab stall down the road from the hostel. Halfway there I had the spins and was feeling like I really needed a sit down. Just looking at the faded pictures on the menu made me want to vom. The extreme heat that day didn’t help either. So I decided to jump off the culture bus and sit the tourist activities out for the day and go back and rest. I also decided I didn’t have time to be sick, with such a short itinerary in Vienna, and that it was time to bring out the big guns.
Usually, when I’m not feeling so flash, oranges, or delicious pulpy orange juice does the trick. Given their acidity levels and the fact my stomach wasn’t too flash, I’ve no doubt the effect is 99% psychological, given that’s what mum used to feed me as a child if I got sick, but I don’t mind – however it works it works! After a stressful 10 minutes trying to read the labels at the local convenience store and determine, with that Austrian I don’t know, what was alternative brands of Fanta and what actually had oranges in it, the man behind the counter worked out I was clearly in distress and came and sorted me out. Definite knight in shining armour.
Next stop was the pharmacy, where “can I have something with pseudoephidrine in it” didn’t really go down too well. But upon close inspection the woman behind the counter mumbled something along the lines of “yeah you do look awful” and handed me a box of colourful pills. I had so much hope they would fix me I didn’t even bother being offended! All I wanted to do was go to sleep and wake up feeling good, but the sleeping part wasn’t really working too well. That was when I remembered I had aquired some sleeping pills from Dad’s stash. Thanks Mr G!
Then, next thing I know (which in my state, took me a long time to ascertain), the culture bus had come back early, and I was being told a new plan had been made – because it was so stinking hot, the wolfpack were off to a swimming pool they had “heard about.” Despite being in a bit of a state, I still managed to have some FOMO going on (fear of missing out) and I thought, actually, it is ridiculously hot in here, maybe it would be nice to sit on the edge of a pool and have my feet in the water. Having taken a sleeping pill (luckily only a mild one) and my cold and flu’s only 2 hours earlier, it would have been a much wiser decision to stay put, but in that state decision making wasn’t exactly my forte!
As it turned out, GPS vs Android Maps vs iPhone maps became quite the debarcle in the car, and this apparent swimming pool was nowhere to be found. Instead, when we jumped out of the car in what was meant to be the swimming pool carpark, there seemed to be some kind of theme park going on. It turned out to be Prater, quite the famous attraction in Vienna. We thought maybe it was nearby, but our efforts were fruitless. Once we were there, the rest of the team, who were far less delirious than I, thought it would be fun to check out the rides. Luckily, it isn’t the pay a huge entry fee kind of theme park, rather you just pay per ride. So for me it was a very cheap adventure, as just being around all the lights and music and colours was thrilling enough! I did go on a token “horror house” ride which ordinarily would have been very gentle and tame, and joined in the bumper cart fun which consisted of me not really moving all that much and being quite the target! I guess there are worse falling asleep at the wheel scenarios than bumper cars.
A final observation of Prater, which to the rest of the group who weren’t battling a sleeping pill, was a really cool spot to visit, with some huge rides I didn’t dare go anywhere near, was that it seems like a lot of the attractions are privately owned and there’s a fair bit of carnie competition, because there were multiple versions of each type of ride. Either that or I was seeing double.
Ironically enough (at least I think so, Alanis Morrisette made me really confused as to the true meaning of ironic), I am currently hoeing in to the last of that same box of cold and flu’s. Pro’s of my nannying job: having a job. Cons: having to enter a primary school AND a kindergarten each day, a hot bed of viral infections. And the buggers seem to be immune to whatever’s going around so it’s just me that’s gone down! This time though, I’m laying off the sleeping pills and working on an appropriate amount of bedrest!