Thursday, June 14, 2012

Taipei Zoo: Where the Wild Things Are

On Saturday morning I was set to work very early after a flatmates going away party the night before.  I woke up with a pounding headache, stepped lightly over the drunken ex-pats strewn about my apartment, and fearlessly taught a class of teens.  I left feeling pleased, and jumped onto the bus, which of course, turned out to be the wrong bus.  This happens so often that I decided to go with it... I will get lost and end up somewhere that I am supposed to be.  I was really too tired to fight it and was not looking forward to going back to a trashed apartment.  So I looked out the window, waited, and found myself at the ZOO! 

I had heard wonderful things and it was right in front of me so I pushed passed my exhaustion.  Usually, I find zoo's depressing, but I had been told the Taipei Zoo was something special.  At first sight I could see it was true; a magical, wild oasis nestled in the steamy green mountains surrounding Taipei at the end of the Brown Line on the MRT.  

This zoo was like no other zoo I had ever been to.   This was a happy zoo, with happy animals.  Their habitats were large and the animals were active.  I sat and watched an otter swim about for a good half hour and just smiled.  She looked so happy twirling and somersaulting through the water.  I watched the beastly hippos gnash their terrible teeth and caught two camels stealing a kiss.  

 Not only were the animals beautiful, the foliage was absolutely breathtaking.  Their were orchids, bromeliads, water lilies; a cornucopia of tropical plants drawing you deeper into this breathtaking jungle atmosphere. 

Tortuga stowed away in my purse and we ran into a wise old friend of his named Lan Lou!  Of course I had to take a picture.