Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A childish day out again again again again again again again again again again again again again again



We had some time to kill before our return flight from Singapore, and deciding intelligently to not extend our stay in Vietnam or try to fill up 10 days in Singapore itself (unless I just hung out at the ace library again), we worked our way gradually down Malaysia's west coast on the way, stopping in Malacca.

To be honest, this was another city I didn't really need to revisit this lifetime, having been effectively stranded here for three weeks in 2011 while waiting for my bank to send me something they insisted I needed. Fortunately, after a couple of days of compulsory sightseeing I'd elected to spend the remaining time reading the two worthwhile books I was able to scavenge from the worst book shop I've ever seen. It's gone now, and there's a Japanese kitchen supplies shop in its place. Who could have foreseen bankruptcy for retailers of the best-selling The Grange Hill Annual 1984 and The Millennium Bug: How to Survive the Coming Chaos? I'm glad I was able to capture its fleeting glory at least.

That meant there were still loads of local attractions I hadn't got round to seeing last time, and after minimal discussion, funny animals won.


Melaka Zoo




As I've come to expect from Malaysia in general, this zoo was of commendable quality and slightly lacking in excitement. It was refreshing to see the larger animals treated to enclosures of appropriate size after a few too many depressing cages in Myanmar and Thailand, but about half of the stuff wasn't even open when we visited. I don't know if it's low season or if all the animals just escaped.



That wouldn't surprise me considering the state of some of these 'enclosures.' They haven't even bothered to fix the fallen ropes around the ostrich cage, relying on this ungainly bird's inability to escape the shallow ditch and trusting idiots not to try to ride it



I don't think these otters had been fed in several years based on their enthusiastic response to our presence and painful cries when we walked away



In every zoo I've been to so far there's been at least one critter I've never seen before. It was really scraping the barrel this time, when I was impressed by a pigeon with silly hair



And a hornbill that looked worryingly like Jimmy Saville



This buffy fish owl was either being coquettish or had some sort of eye infection



I wanted to take the bobcat home



A pair of slow loris re-enacting that traumatic bit from The Animals of Farthing Wood with the hedgehogs on the motorway. It still hurts



The mousedeer was one of the funniest and cutest critters but far too flighty to photograph. So here's a dead one instead, which has none of those attributes



I don't think I was supposed to see that



These monkeys weren't part of the attractions, I think they were just gatecrashing



Some deadly predator or other that I've hugged, whatever



We finally got too tired and disillusioned trying to find a way through the restricted paths to the apes and monkeys, so we took solace in childishness



And went up a thing

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