Published: February 27th 2012February 25th 2012
On Thursday night I was at Briony’s birthday shindig in Cambridgelaan (my housing block thing) and a girl turned around and introduced herself to me (Nerea, from Spain). I’d seen her once before at the Cambridgebar but we hadn’t really spoken, except to tell me how she’d only gotten her dreads that day, so they were nice and soft. Anyway, she told me that she was going with some people to a zoo the next day, although I didn’t hear the ‘day’ part, so I thought it was some crazy African moondance safari or something. As part of Carnivale/a promotion stunt, they were letting people with dreadlocks and people dressed up as ‘rastas’ into the zoo for free. Uh, free trip to the zoo?! Hell yes!!
The zoo was in Tilburg, or just outside of it, which ordinarily is about a 30min train-ride, but we got the slow train apparently (‘Why are you on this train?’ said the ticket-checking-guy) so it took an hour. Plus we had to catch a bus from Tilburg (there was a really weird homeless guy following me around the train station and asking me if I liked the songs he was playing out of his
little speaker). On the bus, the Dutch couple we were with (Roos and Alex) tried to teach Nerea and I how to pronounce the Dutch vowels, I think we sounded pretty bad. The ‘ui’ sound is not in the English language, I swear!! I did, however, learn how to say 'I have an egg' - 'Ik heb een ei.' (I did have a hard-boiled egg in my pocket, so there was a method to my madness).
The zoo was cool! As usual there was that kind of guilty, sad feeling that most of the animals would be happier in their natural environments – especially seeing as it was 8 degrees (a warm day for Holland so far!) and they were all African animals. The zoo was huge though, if you had a car you could drive around in the actual animal area. Not many of the animals were in cages as such, except the leopard. Most of them had huge spaces with a little fence or a moat separating us from them. Surprising to see that us five (another girl, supposedly called ‘Tinkle,’ joined us. She had really nice dreadies) were the only dreadlocked people there that day. Oh
We forgot that because it was Saturday, the bus schedules get screwed up, so by the time the zoo was closing and we realised the busses only come once an hour we had three minutes until one came, so we ran for it. But we missed it. About 1 minute after this realisation, a maroon car pulled up and asked us for directions (to the zoo). It was a Polish couple who ended up offering all four of us (Tinkle rode her bike home, she lived close) a ride to the station. The man was pretty quiet but the woman had white-blond straight-cut hair and bright blue eyes, and sang out random stuff like ‘don’t worry be happy!’ whenever there was a silence. She seemed pretty out-there, they were one of those couples that do not seem alike whatsoever, but turned out she worked for Apple (or as she said, ‘Ayperrrel’) as a programmer or something.
Got back at around 7:30pm I think and had to have a nap before doing my assignment and heading out to Sunny’s (wearing the most god-awful collection of clothing I could find). I’d been battling the whole day ... 9:46am was
Did not like this goat. It was fat and it bit my thumb.
just wayyy too early for me to get out of bed!!
There are more photos below