There is an amusement park in Balti. It’s a few blocks from my apartment, behind the city center. When the weather is nice, in the summer or on the weekends, this park is alive. It’s filled with young children and their families, the children running ahead of their parents, always trailing either a balloon or dripping and eating one of the pre-packaged ice creams, that have either vanilla or chocolate in a simple sugar cone, that seem to be sold on every park corner here in the summer. There are teenagers, either in couples, holding hands or kissing on the benches or in groups of boys or girls, not usually mixing, but generally eyeing each other. There are old kids, maybe University students, sometimes in groups, sometimes simply on a phone or reading alone.
The restaurants in the park bustle, the seating outside along the path is always full. There’s a rooftop bar in one of the restaurants that never seems full, it’s this perfect oasis of calm and shade in the center, which would be perfect if you could see the rides or watch the park from it.
A few days ago while walking with my work partner’s daughter and her friend, we came upon the park and since the girls wanted to go on the Ferris wheel, I agreed. I’d forgotten how afraid I was of heights – luckily this wasn’t the type where it stops to let people on or off – leaving you stranded for a few seconds at the top and the ride was over quickly.