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Space Mountain.

“Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.” –Mary Schmich



Journal entry:

Friday 11pm , 19th June 2009. 

We had the good fortune to spend three weeks over June and July of this year, sightseeing our way through Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China.


I’d spent many months planning the trip. Researching it down to the finest detail.

Preparing documents, planning contingencies, consulting travel sites. Arranging, organising, co-ordinating.

I’d even made little laminated cards with the addresses of each hotel we were staying at (in English and in the appropriate native language) to hand to taxi drivers so we’d have no trouble getting to where we needed to go.


My family called me the “little travel agent”. 

My friend’s called me an anal retentive freak a well organized planner. 


The highlight for the kids was a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland

We spent the day immersed in Disney shenanigans, enjoying the children’s fascination with all that is sugary-sweet and finishing up with the bang that is the night time fireworks spec-tac-u-lar. 

While we waited for our first train back to the hotel a young man began talking to the children, asking them if they had enjoyed themselves. I moved into protective-mama-mode but he seemed pretty harmless and when it was discovered that we were heading in the same direction he took it upon himself to act as our impromptu guide. 

Just before the second train pulled to a stop he pointed at another train across on a distant platform and motioned for us to get ready. He looked spring-loaded. When the door opened he bolted for the other platform with us in tow. 

My son, Husband and step-father made it inside the train, but my daughter had dropped one of our shopping bags and upon seeing that we wouldn’t make it they stepped out of the carriage, my hubby pulling our son out by his arm. 

But the doors of the train shut before my son could get through. 

I looked at him, inside the train. 

All by himself. 

His face was pulled and stretched. White. He was just two eyes. Two big, huge eyes.

I screamed without knowing I was going to scream.

It was a guttural sound which began in my womb, accelerated by my pumping blood, gushing out through my lungs.

People stopped to help, pulling and tugging at the door, trying to free his arm from the metal jaw that had clamped around it. The train lurched forward and then stopped.

The door was released.

We rushed inside the train. The passengers around us were quiet. Watching. One handed my son a tissue. I mopped up his face, then used it for my own. 

As the train pulled away his terror turned to shock.

“Mum,” he said “I think I’m going to be sick.”

I emptied the souvenirs from a shopping bag onto the floor of the carriage and he vomited long and loudly into the luminous orange Disney bag.

The passengers on the train looked away politely while my son exorcised his fear. I looked for a place to put the bag, but there was no bin or hidey-hole, so I held it in my hand for the rest of the journey. 

Every so often I would look at it and see Mickey Mouse staring back at me, his arms spread wide as if he’d just performed the greatest magic trick in the world… “Ta-daaaaaa!” he said.


My son sported twin black bruise-stripes on either side of his forearm for many days after. As they faded to purple he still shuddered remembering the awful-ness that was the night on the train. But by the time the bruise had morphed through shades of green and grey he would grin and say… 

“Mum, remember at Disneyland? Remember how scared I was to do Space Mountain? Remember Mum? I didn’t want to do it at all! And then I stopped worrying and tried. Mum you should have come on it. Mum it was great.  It was aaawesooome! I can’t believe I did Space Mountain…I can’t wait to tell all my friends that I did it three times!”

One Response to “Space Mountain.”

  1. Quadelle says:

    Your scream? Totally warranted. So glad your son was safe.

    Amazing, their capacity to edit.

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