Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Backtrack SG: Animals Galore

I love the Singapore Zoo, and am very proud of it, especially the Night Safari. The last time I visited was in 2005 with Wayne, and it marked my first visit to Night Safari as well (I’d saved photos from that trip on a lousy China-produced thumb drive, which died on me, so I had no photos left as I stupidly deleted everything from the camera and PC at home even before I’d tried to upload the photos from the thumb drive. #$@^&!!!). This is one tourist destination that is anything but tacky, and really lives up to everything it promises, and more. For the past few trips, I’ve been wanting to bring Rosabelle to the zoo, but something always came up, like a fever, or busy schedules, or something. Well, I’m glad we managed to make it this time round, on a fine sunny day on 17 June, a day after the massive rains and flash floods that conquered part of Orchard Road (phew!). This was after she came up close to a grasshopper (came into my sis’ home and the poor maid had to catch it, no matter how terrified she was), a centipede in the park, and a ‘camel’ (or so her imagination takes her as she held a shelled prawn up and it did look like a camel’s hump, haha!).

That’s her on the way to see real animals this time round, insisting on sitting on Marianne’s lap on the way there – the poor skinny Jie Jie had to make do with our girl squeezing onto the car seat with her.
We reached there at 11 am, and my sis brought the kids to get tickets first as my brother-in-law went to find a parking space. And so I kept Rosabelle entertained with a Ben & Jerry’s cow at the entrance area, haha! It was also the first time she was using the Little Miss Naughty water bottle, and I was worried she would not drink enough on this hot day, but amazingly enough, she probably liked the novelty of a new bottle and kept wanting to sling it around her neck and sip from it.
We got the tickets, and started our tour of the zoo, with its many clear signs and directions around, it wasn’t easy to get lost even though the place was massive.
We saw a white-faced monkey perched on top of a sign – that’s what I love best about the Singapore Zoo – they try to keep the animals in their natural habitats as much as possible, so you don’t get miserable-looking tigers prowling around hungrily in dingy cages. We tried to cover as many animals/shows as we could, and when the older kids saw the white tigers, they asked why they weren’t orange in colour instead, haha!
Rosabelle was a good girl, and did not request to be carried that day. Actually, if not for the fact that I carried her around to prevent her from dawdling or running away in another direction, she would have been a happy explorer, safe for tripping over like twice in the day – no biggie. So maybe it’s good that we saved the zoo trip till she was this old and stable in her walking/running.
The older kids were also all very game and excited about seeing the animals, but weren’t the most cooperative when it came to taking pictures (notice the bottle still slung around Rosabelle’s neck – she refused to let me pry it away from her till much later).
We had also purchased hop-on/off tram tickets, which was a good call, as we were (almost) rushing to get from one show to the other. During one of the tram rides, there were two Korean ladies carrying a toddler and with their Filipino maid, who got up and sat at the second row, and let the maid sit alone in front. Oh well… so the few of us had to split up into two rows as well – maybe they felt their maid was not in their same class and could/should not sit with them. When my brother-in-law and Marianne went to sit with them in the second row, one of the ladies, with her huge LV bag parked next to her, did not even bother to bring the bag up and put it on her lap, instead still sitting some distance away from the other lady, not caring if some other people were squeezed in a corner. I got quite miffed at her, and asked if she could move her bag aside. Thinking she might not have noticed the both of them next to her, I was half-expecting her to be slightly embarrassed, but she gave somewhat of a snort and disgusted look at them, then very slowly moved her bag and clumsy ass a few inches aside, very reluctantly. My goodness!

Don’t come and wake up the bitch in me, ok?! I was on mega-bitch radar 100 from then and commented very loudly to innocent Simon seated next to me, ‘Aiyo! This Aunty ah… do you think she bought a ticket for her bag as well? Her bag is so big that she needs a seat for it! So highly inconsiderate… do you think maybe she doesn’t understand English? But no, this is Singapore, and if you are here, you should understand some level of English, right? Or maybe her buttocks are too heavy and she can’t move them?’ And when we passed the proboscis monkeys enclosure, I purposely said, ‘Simon, look at the funny noses of the monkeys! Looks like the noses of those Aunties behind, right? Maybe the monkeys also did plastic surgery, hahaha!’ My sis and brother-in-law must have bit their tongues as I wasn’t exactly a role model for their kids then with my cutting remarks, but hey, these Korean ladies really did look like they had plastic surgeries, and woman, YOU were the one who made me angry, RAWRRRRR!

The last thing I left them with when we got off the tram was ‘Quick, Simon, let’s quickly get our HEAVY buttocks off the tram!’. Now, I seriously hope that they understood English, but their maid next to me was smiling quite sneakily throughout it all (won’t be surprised she doesn’t like her employers!).
And so the tram rides for the rest of the day went by quite peacefully… we came to the first show on dogs, but got there as it was just going to end, haha! Rosabelle did not really like the show, or maybe the music was too loud, but we got downstairs after to get up close with the show dogs, so cute…
I also started feeding her lunch of sweet potato (and some bread), when my brother-in-law reminded me that though such foods aid in easing constipation, too much of it, without enough water, can aggravate the condition as it’s very dry. Well-noted man! I made sure that she had enough water from then when taking such foods (she finished one whole sweet potato up).

We then walked around the farm animals zoo, where it got really hot (I forgot to bring my Evian spray that day – drat!), and thankfully, she liked wearing the cap to keep out the hot sun.
Next, we took the tram to another show – Revenge of the Rainforest, or something – where we also took photos with the cast after.
By then, the sun was already sweltering, and by the time we got to yet another show (can’t remember the name, but it had seals/penguins, I think), we could not get seats, so I let Rosabelle sit in a pull-wagon (someone else had rented it and parked it in the shade) for awhile.
Our last show of the day (thankfully!) was the Elephant Show, where Rosabelle attempted to be a baby elephant first…
There weren’t many seats left at the show, and we had to sit with abit of sun coming in. There was a teenage girl seated in front of us who wasn’t exactly friendly – Rosabelle called out ‘Jie Jie’ to her and tried to touch her leg, but she actually brushed her away. Sheesh, so rude! And then the show started, and our girl started getting fidgety as well, until I offered her some 旺仔小馒头biscuits, heh!
But it wasn’t long before she became really grouchy and as I carried her, she actually dozed off in my arms… in spite of the loud noises around. At one point, the commentator was asking the crowds to make a lot of noise to wake the elephants up, but my baby elephant did not even flinch, haha! After the show, I let her sleep awhile on my lap, and got my sis to carry her as I went to the washroom. She woke up after like only 20 minutes of power nap in my sis’ arms, and was recharged and her happy self, surprisingly not grouchy that it wasn’t me who was carrying her, heh!
We then went to one of the cafes for some much-needed lemon tea and rest before setting off again, only to find that it was drizzling slightly, oh dear! Thank goodness it rained for all of like 2 minutes before stopping, yoohoo!
Outside the café, we chanced upon the elephant ride attraction that costs SGD8 per person, and so we decided to all have a go at it.
It was about two minutes, and felt stable enough, though we did sway from side to side and Rosabelle was trying to grab both sides of the railings with her arms (but obviously can’t, as her arms are too short, so she was content with holding onto one side, and grabbing my arm around her with the other). She was very brave and not frazzled at all (thankfully did not cry/struggle as we were putting her on/getting her off), seeming to enjoy the experience, heh!
After that, we walked around awhile more (tram services had stopped), and as I was carrying her (and perspiring heaps), she touched the sweat on my arm and commented, ‘妈妈热. Duayi carry.’ Heh! My sis was so happy that she bonded with her after carrying her during her earlier nap, and thank goodness she allowed her to carry, as it’s quite tiring for me to have to carry her around (at one point, I regretted not visiting when Wayne was around, haha…).
There were lesser visitors around at this point and they had even cordoned off areas already, maybe to prepare for the Night Safari, but we just made a last few steps and slowly looked for the way out.
At this point, my brother-in-law took over in carrying her as well, and luckily she was quite receptive as my sister exclaimed that she was almost fainting, haha!
In one of the last shots, that’s her holding onto the foot of the monkey as my brother-in-law asked her to, heh!
It was a nice visit to the zoo, as we spent about 8 hours there (from 11 am till 7 pm), making full use of our admission tickets, haha! Glad that our girl had the chance to see for herself real animals at the zoo…

No comments: