We like going to the zoo. Often. In fact, we go to the zoo so often you would think our lives depended on it. That of course would be an exaggeration. It would be more precise to say that, however slightly, our marriage depends on it. Going to the zoo gives M and I the opportunity to talk whilst the kids release energy by running around, climbing on rocks and mimicking the animals. The reason we're afforded this luxury is that we have a year's membership so we can come and go as we please. Why? Because we don't enjoy staying home with the kids all day - however sweet-natured they are, being cooped up in the house will certainly result in annoying petty arguments. An hour or two at the zoo usually does the trick.
Blijdorp Zoo is located in Rotterdam. It's a wonderful place, where people work hard to offer and maintain comfortable habitats for the animals. It is green, flowery, spacious and clean. I find it a soothing place. When my mind is overloaded with work and to-do lists, it is a relief to watch the slow, mindful movements of the elephants and witness the grace of the giraffes. Giraffes are patient animals - however hungry they are, they wait courteously until the caretaker has filled the baskets with leaves and twigs. There's no pushing, shoving or rushing. Just slow strides and gentle nibbling. Giraffes are probably my favourites. My son's favourites are the elephants because they are big and strong. He wants one as a pet, in the garden. We once convinced him we were off to the zoo to buy one and take it home with us. Not a good idea. He went home very disappointed and we didn't hear the end of it.
My daughter's favourite animals are flamingos. Because they are pink. She wants one (or two - she's not sure yet) in her bedroom. Since I can't have a giraffe as a pet, I will settle for one of these cute little striped swine-like creatures. I can see it now: little Stripey curled up on my lap asleep whilst I'm watching TV or reading a book.
And M? M loves the ostriches, because they have fabulous big eyes and long lashes, as does he. He connects with them, like family.
|Not a happy camper|
|Now we know why|