Friday, August 31, 2012

Halal Hot Dog From the Crazy Greek Street Vendor

It was SP's most anticipated day of vacation, and my least anticipated: going to Canada's Wonderland, an amusement park about 40 minutes north of Toronto. Remember, SP loves roller coasters. I used to like them, but since I can no longer ride amusement park rides, I have no interest in going. It's pretty boring to spend 8+ hours just sitting there, people watching and maybe feeling hot and sweaty if it's that kind of day.

I go to make SP happy. He was like a kid in a candy shop. He was pointing out rides, telling me all about them, bouncing with joy, using coaster jargon (I need to get with the program - it was like he was speaking in another language). It was a beautiful day. Sunny, slight breeze, low 80's. Prior to going, I joked about taking a book to read, but then I decided not to take a book, or newspaper, or my puzzle book. How boring could it be? Huge mistake. I should have taken all three.

My personal roller coaster park expert told me that Tuesdays and Wednesdays were the best days to go because they were the least crowded. Uh huh. If this was a light day, I want nothing to do with a crowded day.

My discounted ticket (because I am in a wheelchair) cost $45. SP's advance online ticket purchase cost him $50. Huge discounts. When he saw how crowded it was, he asked about a Fast Pass. Apparently, this park has a different Fast Pass system than Disney when I was there. This park charges $60 for one Fast Pass wristband. He didn't buy one. That seemed pretty pricey.

Don't forget the $15 to park in their parking lot. Because nothing at a park can be free. Except for using the bathrooms.

We found me a quiet-ish, somewhat shaded spot and he zipped off to ride a coaster he had never before ridden! Whoo! Yay! Excitement! I saw him an hour later. I was bonkers because just sitting there is so monotonous, so boring, so absolutely frigging mind numbing. I knew I was in for a bad day. Especially when we saw the food costs.
 For a hot dog!!!!!
He always tries to make going to the amusement park sound fun for me by promising funnel cake, but $11 for funnel cake???????

I know food in a park is pricey, but to me, that was exorbitant. Way pricier than Disney, and I didn't think anyone could be pricier than Disney.

I was kinda annoyed. I was glad the park let you take your own bottled water in, so we were set with drinks, but... It was going to be so hard to actually fork over nearly $8 for a hot dog or $11 for a funnel cake.

So here's the brand new ride, just opened this year, whoo! Yay! Excitement!
 Look at that great drop off! Whoo! Yay! Awesome!
 OK, I'll see you in 1.5~2 hours. Bye.
We were there from a bit before noon until a bit after 8 pm. Maybe 8.5 hours total. He rode 6 times. Every ride, even the 2 non-coasters he rode, had about an hour wait. His last ride on Leviathan took 1.75 hours.

It took 45 minutes to get a Subway sub for lunch. A 6 inch sub that cost $7. If you wanted turkey instead of ham, it was another $2. If you wanted a slice of bacon on a 6 inch sub, it was another $1.50.

I am calling it a rip off. If you look at what we paid for admission and parking, factor in that I can't ride anything, just him, and he could only fit in 6 rides because of the lines, we paid something like $18.33/ride.

My Subway only tasted good because I was so hungry. My funnel cake with strawberries was just OK. The strawberry sauce made the bottom of the funnel cake soggy, so that was disappointing.

We left before it was completely dark, drove back to our hotel, and decided to grab a hot dog from one of the street hot dog vendors on the sidewalk right outside our hotel. There were 3-4 of them. We picked this one simply because the line was shortest.
I don't know what we walked into, but the hot dog man was having a very heated conversation with a (presumably) Muslim man about whether or not his hot dogs are truly halal while a (presumably) Muslim woman stood off to the side. I don't know what the problem was, I don't know if they thought the man didn't truly have halal hot dogs, I don't know if they had differing definitions of halal, I don't know if they wanted to know if every offering was halal, I don't know if they wanted the story of the hot dog's origin to verify if it was halal, but it got pretty animated and heated. "I know halal! I know halal! My hot dog is halal!" "Why can't you just answer her question?!" "I know halal! It is halal!"
I have no idea if they ever bought a halal beef hot dog, or any other tubular meat. SP got in & out quickly, squirting mustard on his chicken dog and on my halal beef dog, and we inched our way safely down the street. As we were inching out of the line of fire, another man started talking with the vendor about the halal hot dog incident. The vendor asked where he was from and what he did. The man said he was an accountant and from Pakistan. He asked the vendor where he was from, which is how we learned he was Greek. The accountant made some comment that the Greek could get more business if he used more honey to catch flies, or something like that, and another animated conversation ensued. Yikes!
The dogs. Huge. Tasty. Good bun. The hot dog was large enough to fill the bun - I dislike when the hot dog is short and there's just boring bun on the ends. Spicy but not too spicy mustard. We ended up going back to the stand and adding some sliced green olives. I never would have thought to put green olives on a hot dog, but when you're really tired, really annoyed after a crappy day, and too hungry to think straight, it sounded like a good idea. It was. Even though it was 9:30 at night and the hot dog and olives kind of sat in my stomach all night long.

The cost for 2 large hot dogs on tasty buns with mustard and green olives and obtained in about 2 minutes? $7. Less than one hot dog at Canada's Wonder-Where-All-Your-Money-Went-Land. And in less time than at the rip off park.

No comments:

Post a Comment