Tuesday, May 01, 2012


White tiger, pacing

We went to the zoo today. It poured with rain, which seems to happen whenever we visit anything in Singapore to do with wildlife. Luckily, we still had our rain ponchos from the time we went to the bird park. Unluckily, we'd left my wife's poncho at home.

Because we like the zoo, we figured it would make sense to get a year's membership. It doesn't make sense to do this on the 1st of May, because it's a public holiday and the world and his dog are all queuing up at the same time. Because you need photo ID for the membership card, and everyone in the queue seemed to be a family with three ADHD-afflicted kids, this was a long and drawn out process.

The chap immediately in front of us was one of those troll-like Englishmen with an unfeasibly large face, who kept telling off the zoo employees because things were taking too long, and referred to his family's domestic helper as "the maid". Which is a little bit rude if "the maid" is standing right next to you. He grumbled about the palaver and then wandered away, never to be seen again.

Singapore Zoo is nice, but a long way away from the rest of Singapore. I'm not sure all the animals are happy to be there; the white tiger that paced continually back and forth in his enclosure seemed a little discontented, and the various smaller cats that were trying to sleep can't have appreciated the constant stream of children (and their parents) knocking on the window to try to get their attention. There's nothing like zoos to put you off people.

On the positive side of things, we saw a beautiful cassowary, and some very playful monkeys. My favourite part of the zoo, the aviary, was a damp squib. It turns out that when there's a thunderstorm, fruitbats aren't cleared for take-off and just nest in the trees, far above you. Come on, fruitbats, you're here for my entertainment!

The lens I'd hired for today held up well, but I think it was rather unbalanced. It was fine with the camera body, it's just when you have a scrawny wretch like me carrying it, it's an unequal struggle. I didn't drop it or smash it against anything, but with the deluge, I didn't get as many opportunities to use it as I'd hoped for.

The journey home from the zoo was hard. Not only was it over an hour of riding buses, we were sat in the coldest bus in South-East Asia. I don't like being threatened with frostbite when we're this close to the equator. The cognitive dissonance gave both me and my wife a migraine...


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