Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,


Corwyn and I went to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival yesterday. I don't go out every year -- mostly only when Corwyn asks if I want to go and thereby reminds me it exists. Corwyn has been a Rennie for pretty much forever. He used to perform there, and plans to again next year, so going to fair with him is a series of stops to chat with various old friends. I saw a few people I knew from the local cons -- jimmy_hollaman, of course, and also Cat, a second-generation member of the fandom. We ate fair food: I decided to try a Scotch egg because, what the heck, I wasn't going to eat one anywhere else but at a Renfaire, and cinnammon-sugar almonds (they smell so good!) and a crepe with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, and strawberries. The Scotch egg was pretty forgettable (it's a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage, breaded, and deep fried): not bad, but unremarkable. A bit bland, actually. The rest was reasonably tasty.

We wandered around aimlessly otherwise, stopping to listen to the occasional performance. I picked up two CDs from a woman with a lovely voice who was performing on guitar and hammered dulcimer. I've never stopped to listen to someone play a hammered dulcimer before: it's quite a beautiful instrument. It reminds me of a harp, though I don't know enough about music to say why. (Other than "they both have lots of strings on a wooden frame", but heck, you can say that about a piano, for that matter.)

I wanted to watch the Gypsy Dancers* perform before we left. "I'm going to ogle the half-naked young men for a performance. You don't have to stick around if you don't want to," I told Corwyn. Atypically for a dance troupe at fair, the gypsy dancers have more men than women; IIRC three female and four male dancers, plus drummers. They wear belly-dance inspired costumes, have a gypsy theme for their personas (ostensibly they're all siblings), and perform a mix of belly dance, tumbling, and fire-dancing. They're not going to compete with Cirque Du Soleil, but they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and they're certainly a lot more capable than I am. Also, for about half the act the men are only wearing calf-length pants.

And it's funny, because "ogle" is not really the right word. I don't find the performance titillating or sexy. I think trim, fit people are beautiful and I like looking at them in much the same way I like looking at a pretty sunset. I don't get many chances in person to look at trim young men wearing little clothing, so it's nice to take advantage of the opportunity when it arises.

Before we went to see them, as we were trudging along the very dusty uneven fairground, I complained about my decision to wear sandals -- they'd gotten so dusty that they kept sliding off my feet. Corwyn noted that there used to be some scantily-clad young men pulling pedicabs around the fair and taking passengers for a fee. I contemplated this notion. "I'd totally pay $5 to have someone else transport me around. Maybe $10 if they're half-naked young men."

"I haven't seen them this trip, though. Maybe they're not doing it this year."

I sighed and pouted. "You just told me this to make me sad, didn't you?"

We left the fair around 5PM. It was open another hour or so, but a lot of other people had the idea to leave at the same time. As we were trudging wearily through clouds of dust back to the far-distant parking lot, a pedicab rolled past, with one shirtless young man pulling it, two passengers, and a young man in vest and pants pushing from behind. "There you are. And already taken, darn it!"

"We've been here all day!" the young men protested, continuing on their way. At about twice the speed of most of the foot traffic, not withstanding their additional burden.

We caught up to them several minutes later: they were waiting for their last fare to return with payment. Corwyn urged me to get a ride. "But we're almost to the car, aren't we?" I asked. Corwyn had been serving as native guide all day and I didn't even remember where I'd parked. "And they still have to wait."

"But you wanted to ride in the cab."

I dithered a bit. "I don't have change ... "

"Here's $3."

"But I 'll still need to tip them ... "

"I've got change for a $20," the pedicab pusher offered.

" -- okay."

Corwyn didn't want to ride and walked on ahead while I sat in the cab. It was awfully nice to sit down. They rolled out about a hundred yards behind him, chatting and joking with me, and caught up to Corwyn before he reached the car.

... and then the three of them searched the lot for the car, which is a silver four door sedan just like half the cars in the lot. I couldn't even remember the model correctly. "... Ford Taurus? Or maybe that was the last car ... "

"License plate?"

"It has a 9 in it?"

"Is this even your car?" the pedicab pusher asked. "Did you steal it?"

" ... "

I waited in the cab while the men looked. Because waiting in the cab was nice. And then gave them the rest of the $20 for the tip anyway, because I figured by then they'd earned it.

Maybe if I go to Renfaire again next year, I'll find out how much it is to hire the pedicab by the hour. It really was much better than walking around on the uneven ground. Even not counting the pleasant cute young men pushing it.

All right, I admit, the pleasant men added a lot to the experience.

* I'm not entirely sure this is the name of their act, but it's what they're listed under on the KC Renfaire's cast page, so okay.
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