The Theme Park Guy

Jun 02

Disillusioned in Turkmenistan

I froze when I found this disillusioned plastic bear in a theme park in Turkmenistan.

My travels have taught me that that’s the exact facial expression people develop over time when they live under governments which don’t owe them any explanations.

But that bear? That one, too? Either the sculptor had a deep sense of humor, matched by the buyer, or the sculptor lacked talent and the buyer self-reflection. I’ll never know.

Thank you to whoever put that shattered, disenchanted bear face inside Turkmenbashi's Land of Fairy Tales Park in Ashgabat, a theme park in a country run by a white marble-obsessed dentist-turned-forever-ruler, where people cannot gather publicly for anything but an amusement ride. You made my day.