Saturday, May 5, 2007

Happy Thoughts on Zoo Life

May 05, 2007 - Happy Thoughts on Zoo Life

I've left my grief comments as my latest blog long enough! Time for some fun.

My aunt asked about the "locked in a zoo after hours" story (from my "Funny, but True" list from a few days ago). Specifically, she asked how old I was. It sounds like she thought maybe I as 6 or 8, but noooooooooo, not me. I was 24. Here goes:

I was living in South Korea at the time. A friend and I traveled to a nearby city for the day. We went to a museum (where some weirdo followed us around for a while taking pictures of us and asking for our addresses so he could send us the pics--not a chance!), enjoyed a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant that overlooked the mountains there, and then headed to the zoo. It was a fairly small zoo, and it was built on the sharply rolling hills that were part of that mountain. (If you don't already know, 70% of Korea is mountainous--think Blue Ridge or Ozark Mountains, not Rockies.)

We wandered around the zoo for a couple of hours. Around 4:45 p.m., I heard--at a distance--a really terrible sound system, through which someone was trying to communicate something. Now, my Korean never advanced past pleasantries, menus, and basic shopping phrases, so there was no way that I could understand this announcement. I asked my Korean friend what had been said. It was too far away and too muddled for her to understand either, she said, but no big deal. So we wandered on. I think we were at the giraffes at this time.

At 5:00 p.m., now further from the speakers, we hear another attempt at an announcement. This time, I actually clued in as to the time, and turned to my friend and asked if the zoo was closing. No, she didn't think so. We're fine. We wandered up and down the little hills on which that the zoo was situated for a while longer. When we happened upon the elephant display, everything seemed to be closed up, the animals inside their corrals. We both looked at one another. Just to be sure, we moved on to the next animal feature, and found the same thing. A strong suspicion crept over us...

We made the best bee-line that we could (given the hilly nature of the location) toward the gate...and found it abandoned and locked! The zoo was closed and we were inside!
So we did what was our only option...We laughed hysterically. Can you imagine the insanity of this scene?

Now this was not quite the problem that it would be in the United States. The gate at this zoo was only about four to four-and-a-half feet high. Rather than spend the night at the zoo (not appealing even for a moment), we climbed the gate, jumped down, and ran down the mountain laughing!

We spent the rest of the day giggling. Who gets locked in a zoo!? We do.

Just another inane snapshot from my life. -J

(c) 2007

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