Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Singapore Zoo, Continued

Continued from last blog…

Carlos, the handsome sea lion. Also a play-sea lion. Now, as a performer, Carlos has to give his volunteer a peck on the cheek as a "thank you" gesture. One of his volunteer was a man. Carlos just smooched him lightly on the cheek, and turned away. I thought that he didn't look too happy…and a bit disgusted. His next volunteer, however, was a cute girl with long black hair, about 6-8 years old. The host asked her to sit on a box, placed in front of us audience (not on the stage) and Carlos uh…walked? Waddled? Scampered? Well, Carlos sea-lion-walked from the stage, down the stairs, right up to the box, hoisted himself up, aimed for her lips and…SMOOOOOOOOOOOCHED! Hoo boy…For a moment, I thought he was doing a sea-lion's version of a French kiss! Cute girl pulled back, Carlos leaned forward, oh no, he's not going to let this sweet young thing go! Host told Carlos that it was enough, Carlos released the girl. Cute girl quickly rubbed her lips with the back of her hands with a disgusted look on her face. Fortunately, the boy sitting next to her in the audience seat was not her boyfriend, otherwise Carlos would have ended up as someone's dinner. Host asked cute girl if Carlos can give her another kiss and she immediately shook her head "NO" and quickly got off the box. Poor Carlos. We could see that he wanted to kiss her one more time as he waited excitedly beside the box. I don't blame her though. I got "kissed" by a sea lion on the cheek before and I left that place smelling like fish. The sea lion's concept of kissing is to place his mouth on your cheek and blow hard, resulting in saliva/water splashing everywhere. Imagine it doing that to your lips…

Next show…the elephant show! There were altogether four big jumbos performing on that day. I still think that the baby elephant, Amoi at the A Famosa Animal World was the best. She had the smiliest face and seemed to enjoy herself very much. These elephants here weren't as lively as her. But anyway, they did the usual stuff, demonstrating how the Thais use them to drag logs and so on. Impressive…I don't think I can even move the log an inch. Anyway, there was this elephant who dragged the log into the stream, demonstrating elephant and stream power to transport logs. She (all of them are females) stopped suddenly and didn't move even though the mahout signaled at her to do so. Then…we saw a few yellowish round balls emerging from the surface of the water. I told my sis,"Oh my god, look at that! She did her business! I recognize it because I've seen an elephant s***ting before!" She was the second animal of the day to do her big business in front of me. Hmmm… While running off to another show, I saw a little Indian boy crying. He was lost. The zoo definitely isn't a good place to get lost at. Fortunately for him, the zoo's staff was around and attended to him, reporting to…some other people on her walkie talkie about a lost boy. He should be fine.

And the next show! Farm animals show! Ran like mad to watch the show, reached JUST in time for it. The first two dogs, a mongrel and a pure breed, demonstrated the dog's ability to herd sheeps…The pure breed dog couldn't resist snapping at the sheep's legs (playfully) while the sheep looked really, really irritated. Then, the mongrel demonstrated it's powerful smelling abilty…he had to search for a girl's hidden bangle, which he found quite quickly. And the last dog, a beautiful collie, show us why movies with dogs as the main actors are so successful. Then the host brought out a little white mice, STUART LITTLE! Ok, so he's not Stuart, but he sure looked like him. Then, it was lunch time.

Phew! No need to run for anymore shows after that…we took our time walking around, visiting other enclosures. I was telling my mom, "Very nice smell, wafting around. Really 'wangi'", as I walked past the Manned Wolf enclosure. We decided to take a break. One thing good about Singapore's zoo is that they have air-con shelters with vending machines. The animal enclosure next to the shelter was the cheetah enclosure. There were about three cheetahs there and their keeper was in the enclosure. He actually plucked one big giant leaf with a long stem and started tickling it while talking to two others who were in the enclosure as well. I assumed that they were trainees. Suddenly, this cheetah placed it's butt in front of a rock and started peeing…It was definitely an output day. I believed that the cheetah was marking it's territory. It was so odd to see them positioning themselves in front of rocks with butt high up in the air, and then shoot!

The Australian animals enclosure was closed for renovation, so we couldn't see the animals from the Land of Down Under. Pity. I was hopping hoping to see kangaroos. At the manatee and sea lion enclosure, a zoo staff was feeding them. While the manatees were eating in front, the sea lion was playing behind. I was wondering why the sea lion didn't disturb the manatees eat. Then I realized, the manatees were eating vegetables. Manatees are herbivores whereas sea lions LOVE to eat fish. So that was the reason… They had little penguins beside the manatee enclosure. Some were swimming around (they are pretty fast swimmers) and some were in the icy part of the enclosure, standing still like a statue. Some of the other animals which I saw (and can remember) were the sun bear, mountain goats, reptiles, big cats, lions, giraffe, comodo dragons and farm animals such as pot bellied pigs! Little black things…there were no piglets this time. The piglets were really cute, when I saw them last time.

Then, we were finally back at the entrance/exit, tired, smelly and worned out, but it was a good day. Lots of fun, exercise and excitement. The next time I go there, I'll go to the Bird Park, it's another excellent place to go to in Singapore.


Monday, November 28, 2005

Trip to Singapore, Singapore Zoological Garden (01-11-2005)

Lately, I have been feeling really, really lazy when it comes to writing blog. I'm so sorry to those who were waiting for it (puffs out chest proudly). Anyway, here it is, Singapore Zoo!

For the past two days, I have been bumming around, playing with my cute niece and cousins and window shopping. And finally! A good adventure! Ok, so maybe going to the zoo isn't really an adventure, but it's a whole day outing that will definitely be fun. Especially for an animal lover like me. It was a LOOONG journey there (from Hougang to Mandai Road). We went to the zoo in two cars, and kept in touch using a walkie talkie. It was quite fun using one. However, sometimes, we can sometimes listen to other people's conversation. This means that other people might have received our messages as well. Hmmm, must be careful of what I say on the walkie talkie now.

When we reached there, we took a few photos. As my uncle said, we will only look good for the first hour of the trip. After that, we'll look as if we've been walking through a battlefield. The very first animals we saw…Saki monkeys. Two of them were posing for us to take photographs of. Or perhaps they were looking at a group of monkeys (us) staring at them. Hmmm…Then there were the white tigers. All sleeping with their backs facing us except for one, where the face can be seen. Bah. I remember seeing the normal tiger peeing, the last time I was there. He looked as if he was watering the plant with powerful showers of yellow liquid.

Then there were the pygmy hippos. I called them my younger sister's OTHER sisters…(shall not make the mistake of calling them as my sister's sister…). After that we saw the polar bears…beautiful, fascinating creatures, so powerful and so huge (don't think dirty now). One was playing with its toy in the water and another was sleeping under the cool shades of the rocks placed in their enclosure. Next animal on the list (at least from what I can remember), BABOONS! Oh yeah…nice big red butt they have there. REALLY huge ones. It doesn't even look like a part of their bodies. The baby baboons were cute though.  We (my cousins and I) didn't go through the entire primate kingdom though. We were rushing to see the animal show. I must say, this is certainly an "Output Day" for me. It was the orang utan's turn to perform, and he was perched on a pole, preparing to swing across the open auditorium. However, he refused to budge. So, the host of the show continued talking, trying to draw our attention away from Mr Orang Utan (from now on, shall be referred to as Mr Utan) with little success. Suddenly, we heard water sound and saw a stream of water falling from Mr Utan's posterior to the drain below him. It was good that he was positioned right above the drainage system. So, we thought Mr Utan has finished his business, yet, he still refused to move! Then…PLOP! (cue the screams) Oh no! Mr Utan has BIG business to do this time. Thank god I wasn't sitting near. Really. So I was thinking, "alright, you've emptied everything, are you ready to move now?" Nope. Mr Utan still refuse to move. Just when I thought, "Oh no…don’t tell me he's…" he started digging for gold. And I always thought that bananas prevent constipation…Then, Mr Utan proceeded to swing across the auditorium. The host asked for a volunteer. No way. I wasn't keen at all, not after what I had witness. However, while the host was talking to the victim volunteer, Mr Utan disappeared backstage, hopefully, to wash his hands. The sea lion's performance was excellent, as always, though the sea lion himself, Carlos, seems to be a bit on the play boyish side…



Thursday, November 10, 2005

Trip to Singapore, Day One (29-10-2005)

At 6 a.m., Saturday morning, I hauled myself from bed to prepare for my train ride to Singapore. Very, very sleepy. Was supposed to sleep early the night before, but for some reason, I slept only at 2 am. Ah well, I have another 6 hours to sleep away in the train. Got dropped of at the LRT station, took the LRT to KL Sentral with the earphones stuffed in my ears. Thank goodness for MP3 players. Was quite early, had buffet the night before, so didn't feel like eating. Dragged my luggage up to the waiting area. DARN! No more seats. It's ok…I shall lean against the wall while listening to music, attempting to look cool(right). There was a young guy, doing the same thing opposite me. Pity he ain't a cute one. Plus, he was short.

While I was waiting, a few KTM staff passed by, pushing trolleys laden with purple packages. Festive packages. My eyes lit up. Are those packages for us? My silent question was answered when they started letting us into the platform. As the crowd jostled towards the escalators, bright yellow light lit up that area. I look towards the source of the light. Tv crew and a lady host. Too bad her back is facing me, I have no idea who she is. Ah well, I'm too far away from the camera. Pity. I happily took my package and proceeded to the train.

Before the trip, Lady Boss was commenting about me having to sit with another stranger on the train. Well, it isn't the first time. So far, I don't have any trouble, and this time, I have my beloved mp3 player as well as my mangas with me. I was hoping though, that the person who will be sitting beside me is a cute guy. On second thoughts, that won't be good at all. I won't be able to relax and will be self-concious and uptight for 6 hours. Not good at all. Well, someone up there must have been listening to me. My "partner" was not of the opposite sex at all. Instead, my "partner" was a woman, around the age of 45 to 50 plus. She told me in Mandarin, "Ah, so you are the one sitting beside me. That's very good." She continued with a hush-hushed voice," You know lah, as ladies, it'll be uncomfortable and not nice, sitting with a guy." Well, at least that's what I think she said. I just blinked, smile and nodded. I was thinking, lady, you don’t have to worry about a guy sitting next to you. I doubt if he wants to do anything to you. I remember there was once, when I was coming back from Singapore, my "partner" was a man. About 30 plus years old. It went fine. He minded his own business and I minded mine. Just that, I was praying hard that he couldn't smell the durians hidden in my backpack. Ah well, that has got nothing to do with gender.

For the first few hours of the train ride, I spent my time reading mangas and watching Harry Potter 3 which was being shown on KTM's tv. After that, I slipped on my sunglasses, stuffed my ears and slept. That's the way to do it, man. The aunty next to me attempted to chit chat with me. But, after a few nods and smiles and short sentences from me, she probably gave up. Hey, I've only completed level I Chinese before I stopped as I had other commitments. She probably was wishing for a more talkative man partner after that. LOL.

At Woodlands checkpoint, we all got down, to do the usual stuff. Stamp passport, x-ray your bags and so on. I noticed that immigration officers tend to look as if they are in a bad mood all the time. I observed the immigration officer while queueing up. Other than being slightly chubby, she was actually quite cute. But she surely looked fierced and bad tempered. Perhaps the office was too cold. However, when it was my turn, after going through my passport, she smiled (yes, they DO know how to smile) at me and asked, in Mandarin again (T_T), "You were born in America?" I replied yes. We actually had a short conversation. Haha, for some reason, that made me feel happy. >.< I must be crazy. It felt like everything was going right on that day. No problems faced. Must be because it was the first long break I was taking ever since I've started work.

The train proceeded to Tanjung Pagar, where I am getting down at. Finally reached after 40 minutes. Good ol' Singapore…Really good to be there again. Mom and uncle picked me up. Had lunch at Ang Mo Kio and shopped around there. Actually, we were just walking around in circles because we have lost our sense of direction. I normally don't. Guess I was tired from the train ride. After that, we went back home, back to my uncle's home. Home sweet home… So, that was my first day. ^-^