Friday, June 27, 2008

La Ciudad

Yesterday the boys and I went to La Ciudad de los Ninos. Here's the link:

It's an anchor in a nearby mall, so I figured we should go while we're still at the hotel, since our apartment is further away.

It was impressive... well there were some issues... like we tried to go on Wednesday and it was closed for some sort of upgrade. I'd checked the website, no warning, just found it was closed after we got there (and after the hotel taxi way overcharged us, but that's another issue). On Thursday morning there were soooo many school groups as we neared the place you could hear a dull roar far before laying eyes on todos los ninos.

We waited for nearly an hour at the airport modeled counter (AA sponsored this part), but I gave up as we got close since one of the employees came by explaining that the school groups were leaving at 1pm. We walked back to the hotel (ha! take that taxi drivers) and returned after naps (walking again, ha! ha!). What did we find upon arrival? School groups. At this point my expectations were pretty low.

The girl at the counter gave S a "check" for $50 kidzos which he was to cash right after he entered. Then he could choose to spend his kidzos (at the ice cream store, domino's pizza, wal-mart etc) or get a job (construction worker, fireman, etc) and earn more kidzos. It was impressive. The sponsors added a lot to the authenticity of the experience. At each booth the kids would have a short orientation (of which S understood exactly zero due to the language barrier) and then get to act out the activity. This meant more lines and waiting than I'd expected but it was worth it as the kids got time to try each activity. There were a few things that just wouldn't fly in the US, like real dogs at the vet or a firetruck that they loaded up with kids and drove around the city on.

As time passed my enthusiasm dwindled, and there were points where the whole thing felt a little like Pleasure Island (you know Pinnochio, donkeys). And whenever you leave something with two crying children you wonder and the wisdom of the activity. Though when it came time to leave I helped S put his kidzos in the bank. He got a debit card in return so that he can access his Kidzos on his next visit, supposedly he'll earn interest. P wanted to know the rate of inflation la ciudad is currently experiencing.

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