I keep thinking of Polka Parlour, which used to be on Main Boulevard. It was one of the only ice cream parlours in town and my siblings and I were addicted to it. They were the only ones who had yummy waffle cones and they topped their ice creams with real whipped cream and caramelised nuts. My siblings and I always picked the same thing. My brother, Kamil, and I always had a double scoop of chocolate chip and my sister, Abeera, used to have a single scoop of coffee ice cream. I remember begging the waiters to cover every inch of the ice cream with whipped cream and nuts. Although Kamil and I would devour the cones whole, Abeera used to eat like a bird and her cone would inevitably end up in a puddle on the floor.
I remember frequenting Polka Parlour after spending as long as possible in Fun Land, which was in the basement of the same building. My brother and I used to let out our aggression towards each other through the bumper cars. I remember the motorised horse race, which was actually one of the main attractions. I don’t think I can ever forget the shooting area where you aimed at targets and they squirted water at you if you hit them. I remember there was a (not real) man with a gun and a hat. When he was shot at, he got up, picked up his gun and shot back, but with water. I remember being very scared the first time I saw the game. A few years later they also installed a bouncing castle and then that became our new favourite game.
I remember Kamil buying one rupee lottery tickets from Fun Land, convinced he was going to win. He didn’t…
I remember the Main Boulevard that Polka Parlour was on. It wasn’t the palm tree infested, wide open road it is today. It was a small, but long street. I wish I could picture it in my mind but I keep drawing a blank.
And for some odd reason I remember the anticipation of going to Fun Land and Polka Parlour. I remember the excitement we felt before going. When you grow up in a town where there isn’t much to do (other than eat), you learn to cherish the small things like an evening of bumper cars and ice creams.
I remember the smell of Fun Land- a damp basement smell, almost musty. And I remember the inside of Polka Parlour- everything was very shiny and inviting.
I remember begging my mother to take us to Fun Land and Polka Parlour. Eventually she became so sick of it that she just gave us money and sent us off with a servant.
Polka Parlour and Fun Land then shut down to make way for large offices and ugly buildings that look like someone threw up on them. Today there is no Polka Parlour and no Fun Land. Today, instead of Polka Parlour we have Marble Stones, Hot Spot and Gelato Affair but no one will ever compare. Good bye Polka Parlour and Fun Land. I never did say good bye before. Adieu and thank you for the memories.