Saturday, 21 July 2012

The circus is in town!

Some time ago we noticed three red trucks driving between Cluny and Cormatin. Nothing spectacular, but for the fact that one truck was pulling three trailers. How this sort of concoction can safely reverse more then 6 feet is beyond me. Anyway, when we overtook them, we noticed that it was a circus obviously heading for some village in the neighbourhood. I must confess that I am not really a circus fiend. The only live performance I ever saw was in Singapore, by a small Malaysian (Indian) family circus. The father, mother and children acted as jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, etc., but the whole performance was of a charming simplicity, possibly helped by the natural grace of these Indian people.
The only other experience I have with circuses are the five minutes I could keep my eyes open whenever there was a circus on TV.
Accidentally we stumbled on some posters, where Circus Azurias was announced to perform in Massilly, Saint-Gengoux and with two shows in Cormatin. Since we had in those days a lot of work going on around the house, we decided to treat ourselves to a night on the town. The circus was located by the Plan d’Eau, hence we parked our car somewhere near and walked past the tent and the livestock roaming around the tent and bought tickets for € 7.00 each. Children paid € 5.00. The livestock consisted of a horse, a pony, some chickens, a cat, a dog, a llama and a cow with enormous horns, possibly of Ugandan extraction. We went inside and turned out to be the only grownups not accompanying children.
The show went on for 45 minutes with a 5 minute break in which sweets were sold. The balance : 10 adults, 19 children, gross income of the evening € 445. The attractions: two kids who did handstands, a horse walking in a circle ending with its front legs on a table, a llama idem, a pony idem, a poodle idem, 3 ferrets doing slaloms on a shelf with vertical sticks nailed to it, a cat idem, and finally the inevitable clown’s act. This circus was also run by a family, most likely parents, children and grandchildren, just like the Malaysian circus. Unfortunately the French people missed the elegance of the Asians, and I think this is a very kind way of putting it.
What I am wondering about is this: how can a family of at least 7 persons survive on an income of this scale; it would not surprise me if the maintenance of the trucks costs more than the revenue of one evening.
Anyway, since these sort of attractions are normally held in winter, we now know what we can do on a long, cold boring winter evening; see an even more boring circus!

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