Friday, April 22, 2011

Singapore Zoo

Golden handed tamarin

Dragged from my bed at the insanely early hour of nine this morning, I struggled through an unsatisfying breakfast of the world's smallest Danish pastry and a cup of horrendous hotel coffee, before taking the express bus to the zoo.

The Singapore zoo is terrific; most of the enclosures are designed to have no visible barriers between humans and animals, so you feel much closer to everything. Since there's lizards crawling everywhere, in enclosures or out of them, you are closer to everything, and that was before we got to the rain forest enclosure, where you can wander up to lemurs or chase mouse deer into bushes. There's vast numbers of fruit bats flying around - fruit bats eat a lot of durian, although it's unclear if they like durian or they're being forced by the park authorities to help eliminate a perfectly explicable surplus of durian, the vomit-scented fruit par excellence.

One gecko came over and ran up to me, but I had nothing to say to it. I was hoping we could have conversed about sticky feet or something, but he scampered away before I could say anything.

The zoo is great, but I was exhausted so when the well-organised thunderstorm kicked off at 3pm, I was happy to hop in a minibus and scoot back to the hotel. This was to prepare adequately for meeting up with Rik, an acquaintance from England who filled me up with beer and then took me out to eat dinner. Well, he took me out, better than a sniper bullet - five cans of Sapporo on an empty stomach and a bowl of rice later, I'm a shambling mess.

We ended up at Clarke Quay, where you can be thrown up into the air on the end of a high tension bungee cord. Or just throw up. I wasn't keen on that. There's also a bar called Clinic, where you can sit in a wheelchair and take your drink from an IV drip, which must be hilarious until somebody drinks enough to go to hospital. And with that, I'm off to the bar.


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