I like the zoo, but I don’t like the idea to spend a day at the local zoo during my vacation abroad.
I want to see the city, the culture, and the people; not the animals.
“You must visit the zoo”, they said. I was still reluctant. “It’s like being in a forest where you can pet animals freely”, a friend of a friend reminisced her childhood memory of the same zoo. And the last stroke was when my boss, who preferred to stay in the hotel during business travels, told me that she had been to this zoo. I agreed to put the zoo in our Sydney itinerary.
When I told the hotel concierge we were going to the zoo, she was overly excited about the fact. Good. After all, I enjoyed going to the zoo in the cities I lived in, and I have a plan to bring back a Koala for my mom.
We took a ferry from Circular Harbour and reached the zoo entrance ten minutes later.
The first animal I met was a kangaroo. They were let free in the open area, outback Australia; there was no fence between them and me. Yay? No, not yay.
They looked statue-like, and there was no interaction, not even between them. They looked unhappy, which was sad. Maybe because the place was way too small, it’s the size of a house backyard, definitely didn’t look like any forest as mentioned by my friend’s friend.
We then went to meet a platypus or tried to, but no platypus that day. Maybe they were there, but I couldn’t see any, at least nothing that resembles the platypus shown on the TV, which brought me to my biggest disappointment on zoo-ing that day, the Tasmanian devil.
I grew up watching Looney Tunes and loving Tasmanian Devil. I could see the character similarities between the two of us. We ate everything, anything and all the time. We always looked grumpy, and we never combed our hair. Based on the evolution theory, Taz was my ancestor.
So you can understand my disappointment when I saw the Tasmanian devil. It was a shivering small bear look-alike creature. This surely couldn’t be my spiritual animal growing up.
At least seeing him reminded me to eat, so off we went for lunch at the food court. To my further frustration, only one food counter was open, and there were like twenty people in front of me and I ordered kids meal by mistake. I had to drink from the juice box while my friends enjoy their soft drinks. and food? It was bland. I wonder is this why the animals looked miserable here because they also had zoo food?
After lunch, we went to the petting zoo. This place ended up being the highlight of my trip.
I never seen this kinda chicken before, they are CUTE! Also, this was my first time to see a real-life pig and sheep.
Finally, it was time for our koala photo session. Oh yes, you only can have an up-close and personal moment with the koala during ten minutes photo session (twenty bucks and two hours wait; well.. at least my parents can showcase it in their living room later) and this still means no touching, just standing really really close to the koala. So we did, but the koala was sleeping. “They sleep a lot”, the zookeeper said.
I paid 20 bucks to see a sleeping koala!
In the last minutes, the koala woke up. She yawned, pulled the leaves, and started to chew it WHILE pooping. the life of sleeping, eating, and pooping; hey maybe koala is my spirit animal?
I considered, for a split second, to put her inside my bag and make a run for it, but naaah. We can’t have two lazy beings in one household.
We went to the gift shop afterward. Geezz.. this was the first gift shop I spent less than five minutes in. It was so.. unappealingly sober. I couldn’t take it anymore. I begged my friends to go back and we did.
I let out a long happy sigh when I saw Sydney city skyline from the cable car ride back to the ferry terminal.
Bye-bye Zoo. Hello Sydney Opera House.