Like a Hamster Ball on the Water
27 Feb 2007
While in Chongqing we went to a carnival by the river side. There was one event that got our attention immediately. It looked like people running around inside giant hamster balls on top of water. What fun!
A thought immediately came to my mind, though: how do they get fresh air in those things? It turns out they don’t. They fill the balls with a big blower, then zipper them shut and put a big piece of tape over the zipper to keep it water tight. You’re only allowed in for 5 minutes, after which the carnies reel you in (the ball is tethered to the shore). It cost 10 RMB.
Anyway, I had to have a go. Here’s my ball getting inflated.
Once my ball was full, I surged into the water with a vicious plop.
I was very graceful.
For some reason, a child was laughing at me.
I set out to destroy her.
I did not succeed.
I decided to let her live and crawled off elsewhere.
I liked the challenge of trying to stand up, and I was able to do it several times.
But not for long.
I eventually decided to chill out for a while because all my physical exertion must have been using up my limited oxygen pretty fast*. I emerged very satisfied.
Overall, a very fun experience.
*How long should the oxygen in one of those balls last? I’m 194 cm tall, so I guess the diameter of the sphere is just over 2 meters or so. Anyone know? I’m wondering how close to 5 minutes it is.