Light-flashing, pop music-blasting merry-go-rounds with none of the charm of the 'traditional' rides I remember fondly from my childhood can be found all over the Catania area, conveniently placed in just the spot where your little one will be sure to not miss it. Well, my negative take on these eye sores has slowly developed into tolerant acceptance, but I have never purposely sought one out to this day. My son recognizes certain merry-go-rounds that can be spotted from the car on our more well-traveled routes, and of course, this little boy wants to ride on the merry-go-rounds. He doesn't find the music annoying (but does the volume have to be so loud?). And he loves the little race cars, jeeps, and flying dragons that whirl him around and around and around. His level of passion for these rides seems to be only increasing with age. So, when convenient, I succumb to this whimsy. I dole out the 3, 4 or 5 Euros for 4 or 5 rides, sit back, and try not to feel dizzy with my waving from the sidelines. And as my resigned self has come to accept, most of these merry-go-rounds are in much better shape than the shabby playground you will find across the street. In fact, I can't help but wonder if these privately owned, modern contraptions make a fortune on the fact that the public, free facilities are often in such poor condition. Sigh. One more compromise that no longer irks but has merely become part of the reality of mama life in Sicily.