Thursday, April 21, 2016

[SYDNEY] Date a Koala

So sometimes you lose faith in going out with your fellow mammals, right? Because sometimes the dating pool starts to thin out or it’s not as interesting as it was before, right? Because sometimes it’s a prerequisite that you have a six pack or a V-Torso to get noticed, like you are auditioning for effing Century Tuna Superbods, right? In Australia, you have the option to try your luck with your marsupial cousins, you know, right? Maybe they aren’t as hard to please, right? So I went to Taronga Zoo, right?

But it was a scam. I thought the Koala Encounter was free until I saw a poster saying that I had to pay like AUD 20-30 to meet a koala. And I was, like, ZOMG, swallowing your pride on Tinder will not cost you that much. You don’t even know if you are compatible with this koala. What if this koala won’t talk to you unless you have big guns or a strong jawline? What if this koala finds out that you don’t like eating leaves, like, you’re a hardcore carnivore and such difference in dietary habits is a deal-breaker?

And so I walked away, but not without snapping photos from afar. Those koalas really love leaves! And they do look like stuffed toys that came to life! They were amusing like that. I guess this is what makes a trip to the zoo down under more interesting. How did all these marsupials end up here? It’s cool because it’s not normal for us. We only ever see fellow mammals in Manila like stray cats, stray dogs, and stray hobos. You don’t go to Makati Avenue at three in the arvo and expect to see a kangaroo hopping around.

Well, yeah. I went to Taronga Zoo to stalk a kangaroo. I was supposed to stalk Cate Blanchett, but bitch already moved to England. Why, Cate Blanchett? Why? I remember how my first mock itinerary for Australia involved a trip to the Sydney Theatre Company to see her portray Blanche Dubois onstage. But that was eons ago, and girl sure is busy with all the Hollywood commitments. There’s always next time, I guess. And so I settled for the kangaroo because I thought it would be easier to find. Apparently not!

I don’t think the zoo is the best venue for kangaroo spotting. The only kangaroo I saw at Taronga looked really depressed and suicidal, and immediately fell in a deep coma when s/he saw me. I was, like, come here kangaroo. Come to daddy. And s/he was, like, NO. And then s/he dozed off. And I was, like, hmmkay, maybe I should have just stayed in Melbourne and watched a rerun of Neighbours. Some locals told me that if you have the patience, you’re better off trying your luck at a national park.

But don’t be sad now. You didn’t come all the way here for nothing. Taronga Zoo is full of other marsupials and mammals. Bored Australians and hordes of Chinese tourists are also a guarantee. I swear on my neighbor’s life that you will spot at least one Chinese tourist there. They’re everywhere. The zoo is well organized and the maps are simple to follow. Once you get tired of the animals, perhaps it’s time for you to focus your attention on the great views.

Oh yes, being on the other side of Sydney Harbour, an impressive shot of the skyline is waiting as you transfer from cable car to ferry. Yeah, there is a cable car. At first I thought I also had to pay for it, like I would if I dated the koala, but it turned out to be included in the admission ticket. So take that cable car ride! The circuit is not that long but it gives you enough time to snap an aerial panorama of Sydney’s CBD. If not, you can still do so on the ferry.

You can pay for the ferry ride with your Opal card. Crossing the harbor will not take more than 15 minutes but it still gives you ample time for camwhoring and vLogging. I think there are times when the ferry is full, but it just wasn’t when I went onboard. And I don’t think they will risk passenger safety by overloading the damn boat. Bring a barf bag with you if you are prone to seasickness. Or you can always throw up in your girlfriend’s Prada purse. If you are going to vomit, at least do it in style.

Yes, you will see the Sydney Opera House as you cross the harbor. Yes, you will see it in different angles. Yes, you can pose for a selfie with it in the background. Yes, it does look a bit weird. There is also a popular bridge on the other side of the horizon if you are interested. But if you’re old school and you haven’t been to Sydney if you don’t have a picture in front of that opera house, then by all means, fulfill your destiny. Upload it on Facebook. Watch the number of likes increase. ZOMFG, you’re in front of the Sydney Opera House, I so envy you.

After the euphoria dies down, you might want to walk around the harbor. It is teeming not just with tourists, but also with local activity. You might run into a musician or two, families having a picnic, etc. There is a museum on the other side as well as an area that they call The Rocks, which I didn’t get to fully explore. You will also find shops if you want to get rid of your Aussie dollars, like, ZOMG you have heaps of AUD they are becoming a burden to carry around, might as well shop. Like, OMG. OMG, right? OMG. Like, so much.

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