July 25th, 2004
After the fun last night, I wake-up with the inevitable hangover but after some aspirin it goes away. Lucky, since this is the day we go to Hangzhou Zoo. I really wanted to do this and finally see a panda, there is one in this zoo I was told. This time Elise who’s first grade class I teach to is our tour guide this Sunday. She brings her sister along. It is just Kate and I who go, Mia has not come with us on one single Sunday sightseeing.
Well we are at the zoo. It does look a bit rundown. Many of the animals look sick and tired. They are not well taken care of obviously. We pass through fish tanks with the big various fish native to East Asia. Then through the caged animals area where they look sad. We see camels, with the lumps sagging over their backs.
Then there is one elephant we see. Continuing we walk passed a pit with a bear, which is the thinnest bear I ever seen. The bear must be quite hungry as he is gazing up at the humans looking down and salivating intensely. This bear is clearly underfed, as all the animals in this zoo assumingly are. Finally, we walk into the hallway area where we see the panda. Well it was a slight disappointment. It was visible through a distance in a glass caged area. Again this panda, is laying around looking tired and sick, like the rest of the animals here. I was under the impression that the view of the panda would be much better, but it was far and somewhat dark to look into the glass wall. The panda didn’t move. So after seeing the panda, we see an adorable red panda, and then through the monkey area there are various monkeys and a bamboo. At least I had a chance to see different animals I may not have necessarily seen in another zoo, even though the conditions weren’t great.
After the zoo, Elise takes us to McDonald’s for lunch. I hate to say in this area it is actually one of the better choices. Afterwards, Elise and her sister eventually part ways. Kate and I stay in town. We always like to be in town as much as possible. If we stayed in our apartments, we would probably be bored to tears. We have no air-conditioning in the apartment, only fans, so in this hot sticky weather it sucks. Plus, the only thing really to watch on TV is Asian MTV or shows such as, “Little House on the Prairie” and “VIP” (Pamela Anderson show) in Chinese, which is fun some of the time, but the excitement of being in the West Lake area always awaits.