OK so we weren't wandering through a haunted forest being chased by winged monkeys...but pretty close. We went to the local zoo this past weekend, and it seemed that the pair of foreigners attracted almost as much attention and pictures as the animals did.
Now if you're a PETA activist or something like that, I highly advise you to discontinue reading this post immediately and never, ever, ever visit a Chinese zoo. The elephant pen looked more like elephant jail. But apart from the direct violation of animal rights, we had a rather pleasant afternoon.
I didn't bother taking any pictures of animals (for the obvious, above-stated reasons). Besides, most of you know what a lion at a zoo looks like. But here are some pictures of some things you probably haven't seen at your local zoo...
If you've ever wondered where to deposit your "unredeemable" trash or left over "organisms"...problem solved!
This is the map displayed at the front of the zoo to help you plan your animal-viewing route. First stop--monkeys. Then on to the bears. And before we leave, let's make sure to check out the demon lion with a flaming pitchfork?!?!
Before embarking on your day of zoo-ish fun, make sure to take note of the zoo's Kindly Reminders:
Please initiatively buy the ticket.
Please keep public order, do not be drunk and disorderly, do not affray and commit violence.
Pets are not admitted to the zoo, explosives and dangerous items are forbidden. (Too bad for Bomb Dog...he gets two strikes against him with this rule!)
And it wouldn't be a Chinese park without some chintzy amusement park rides. This one was my favorite:
You sit in this red jeep with the penguin seats and, as you make laps around a giant rock, shoot water guns at the targets. But the best part is what the targets actually are:
Yes, that is most certainly a peeing doll! The thing I find so ironic about this is that it's not an uncommon sight at all to see a kid peeing just about anywhere. So why villainize a perfectly acceptable cultural norm by turning the poor doll into target practice? But then again, on my not-so-hot China days when seeing one more squatting pre-schooler on the street or walking through one more unidentifiable puddle might send me packing, maybe I should head to the zoo to relieve some culture stress.