Go up the sky

In August Minsk will celebrate the City Day — 940 years
Could the Governor of Minsk Korneev who two centuries ago founded the central park (at the moment the park named for Maxim Gorky) even imagine that there would be such a structure as a big wheel? Hardly. And some years ago the wheel of my childhood was replaced by a new, more modern one. Now its height reached 54 meters! The open cabins were complemented with enclosed ones, they become more numerous. The wheel was immediately named to one of the Minsk’s “visiting cards”.

By the way, not every capital can boast by having such a “card”. I’ve heard something about the 73-meter high Ferris wheel in Moscow, but it was closed because of the age. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to visit London yet and to see “The London Eye” at the bank of the River Thames, as it’s called there, with my own eyes. This is the highest Ferris wheel in the world (135 meters), that’s why it was by right registered in the Guinness Book of Records.

No doubt our Ferris wheel ranks below in height, but still, it can be seen from afar. And the Belarusians pay considerably less than the citizens of London or the visitors of the royal capital.

Still, the Belarusian Ferris wheel has disadvantages as well. For example, in summer the temperature inside enclosed cabins is very high and there are no special cabins for disabled people as in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. But I have no idea whether “The Malayan Eye” offers an opportunity to go up the sky in New Year’s night and have a look at the capital swimming in festival colors and lights as in Minsk. The park administration makes such a present to the citizens of the capital for two years in succession.

I take all my guests obligatory to Gorky’s central park, to show them the Ferris wheel. I try to persuade them to have a bird’s eye look at my native Minsk. And I tell them my story...

I was about six. Once I was having a walk with my granny in my favorite park, and I suddenly felt like having a ride on the Ferris wheel. For the first time I wanted to do something so badly... And here we are, in a long queue. I felt so confident! But the closer we were to the wheel, the less confident I felt... The cabin approaches — and we’re getting off. In some twenty seconds I chippered: “Let them lower down...” I probably turned pale with fear, because suddenly my granny suggested: “Sing!” And unexpectedly for myself I started singing: “Shiroka strana moya rodnaya...” Granny caught up. The song was over and we were hardly on the top. Granny commanded: “Start singing from the very beginning!” Singing, we went down to the earth. After that it was hard to persuade me even to come closer to the wheel...

At the moment I’m standing at the wheel, a student, an adult, and thinking over: what song would I like to sing in order to fight my fear and take a ride on the wheel?

Vladimir Zhdanovich
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