Sunday, October 2, 2011

The day I turned 22, I went to Taipei Zoo

I've always wanted to celebrate my birthday. Properly.

I never got to celebrate my birthday during college because it always coincides with hell week! Two years ago, Ondoy came exactly on my birthday. While this year, my birthday coincided with our last day in Taipei.

The night before, I went to Shilin nightmarket with my colleagues but got separated from them. So I ended up walking back to Chientan Youth Activity Center alone past 12 midnight (yes, Shilin nightmarket is a 15-minute walk from where we stayed). It didn't really matter because I don't mind walking alone and Taipei is quite a safe place (I can leave my laptop, camera and phone unattended and no one would take them). When I got back to my room and checked my Facebook, I saw a birthday greeting and I realized that it was my birthday and that I spent the first few minutes walking alone in the streets of Chientan! Haha. How memorable!

Anyway, the morning after, after packing our things, we went to Taipei Zoo (a 40-dollar MRT ride from Chientan Station). The initial plan was to ride the cable car first but on the way to the Maokong Gondola, we saw this...


Sad. So we went straight to the zoo. It was a bit hotter and more humid compared to other days but I think the humidity was due to Pedring.

Isn't it weird that I spent my 22nd birthday going to the zoo? Child-like.

Anyway, we had to hurry because we arrived in the afternoon and the zoo was closing in a few hours. I didn't get to see all the animals but I saw what I wanted to see.

Koalas. I couldn't do anything about the glare!



Feeding time, King Penguins!

Jackass penguins (a weird name but yes, that's what's written in the zoo!) They're cute!

Here's a cute pic of a parent hippo and a baby hippo.


I also saw this very beautiful gray wolf. I don't know but for some reason, I felt so attracted to it. There was a different feeling. If we weren't running out of time, I would have just looked at it for hours. It was so beautiful and it moved fast yet gracefully, without noise. It was lonely, though. :(

However, I felt sad for some of the animals because they were so lonely. The koalas, the wolf, the puma, the lynx, the bears, among many others, were so lonely. :( I don't think I'll be going back to that zoo because I think that the animals should be in their natural habitat.

I loved the flowers inside the zoo, though. Actually, there are lots of flowers in Taipei, which I really loved.

Flowers. Love. Same thing.

One of the ICE students, Maiko, noticed that we actually rode an AGT (automated guideway transit) to and from the zoo. It's his thesis so he knows. Unlike the typical trains, AGT's are driverless (automated, duh) and have rubber tires (just like car wheels). Currently, DOST is studying the feasibility of AGT's in the Philippines and they will be making a prototype in UP Diliman.

The front of an AGT. See? Driverless!

We went back to Chientan and waited for the bus that will bring us to the airport. And that's it for my 22nd birthday. When I got home the next day (after the scary flight), Pedring was ruining the country with strong winds and rains and my older brother was down with dengue so my mom had no time to prepare birthday food for me.

Anyway, I'm currently baking blueberry cheesecake as my late birthday cake. How lame, baking your own birthday cake and having it one week late too. Haha. :))


  1. oha nagbirthday sa ibang bansa! ibang level! and, ibang level din ang animals sa zoo nila ah, worth visiting talaga! exciting naman yung project ng UP for the AGT's!

    belated happy birthday Claire!! =) yummy cake i could just imagine!

  2. Tapos NTD60 lang yung ticket sa zoo, 90 pesos! Grabe, sobrang mura! Mas mahal pa pamasahe ko (NTD80 two-way hahahaha)

    And thank you! :D

  3. OMG hippopotamuses! So cute <3333 I haven't been to the zoo in years :(

    IDK about AGTs, it would be nice to have them here but it seems like Filipinos have an anti-progress mindset lol. No driver = less jobs etc etc wah wah wah.

  4. @Helga: Me too! Can't remember the last time I went to the zoo before this one.

    And on AGT's... yeah my Transportation prof told us that one of the problems in the Philippines is people perceive transportation as a source of living. :( And like what you said, it's anti-progress.