Effing Zoo

Jessica wants very little from this trip. I think she would have been happy with a long weekend where she could have visited Disneyland, the Virgin Megastore, a zoo, and a day in the apartment. She has shut down worse than ever and blatantly refuses to participate in any of the exciting activities I have planned. Who doesn’t want to go to seventeen bakeries a day? Somehow, she doesn’t.

She wanted to go to the zoo. I’m not big on zoos–I don’t know why, they make me feel exhausted almost immediately. People pushing and shoving to look at caged turkeys is just not my cup of tea. But, she claimed it was the one thing she wanted to do, so we decided to go.

I had a feeling that the zoo we had come across in the Jardin des Plantes would be small, so I looked it up online, and sure enough, it was. There are two zoos in Paris and the bigger one is located in the Bois de Vincennes. I looked at the map of the place. There were all sorts of animals and interesting landscaping, so even I was excited to go. Their website said that they were open every day, so we headed off for the Métro and rode all the way to the massive park.

Once outside, we stumbled right into the Château de Vincennes, which was supposedly a favorite country estate for the royals in the 14th Century. I can’t imagine why–it was not very pretty. Maybe it was six hundred years ago, though? We hurried through the courtyard and found ourselves at the entrance to the park.

We took a wrong turn, as always, but soon righted ourselves. Soon, we were walking along a path that was shared by bikers and rapists. I don’t know if the people on the path were actually rapists, but they had shifty eyes and a frightening demeanor. Almost everybody on a bicycle was a bitch. I cursed them all to wander the depths of the Catacombs for eternity as they rang their little bells at us. Bitch, please.


As we walked along, we came across a man washing his car. I don’t know where he got the water from or why he chose this place, of all places, to scrub his vehicle. A man in a truck drove by, blaring his horn, laughing maniacally, and flipping him off. It was rude, but still hilarious.

I was ready to get out of here and into the zoo. It was like we were in the middle of nowhere. Finally another map popped up on the side of the road and we realized that we were getting very close. Then, in the distance, I spotted this:

This is the manmade mountain in the zoo. We had arrived! We turned into the entrance, and stopped. It was too quiet. There was no movement behind the gates. In fact, the place looked utterly deserted. We approached the gate and found this:

It was closed until 2013. 2013! You would think they might put that on their website so people could maybe not waste their entire afternoon? Parisians seem to always forget to update their websites, I don’t know how many places I have gone to now that have been closed.

There was another sign that told us to go to the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes. I was seething. We could have just gone across the street???

We made our way to the front entrance and angrily demonstrated our rage.

Goddamn giraffe!

Jessica was pissed!

So, with much anger we stomped off towards the Métro that we found on the map. But, we were dying, so we stopped for refreshments. I had a double chocolate Magnum Bar and Jessica had a Coke flavored slush. We both enjoyed them tremendously.

We took the Métro all the way back to Bastille and discovered that there was no easy connection to the Jardin, so we just walked. There was a retarded art fair going on. Vendor after vendor of art nobody could possibly want and vendor after vendor of art that could have easily been done by a fetus. It’s maddening to see the prices people will pay. I need to get into the art world, actually.

We walked and we walked and we finally made it to the Jardin and came across this peculiar statue:

The little sign translates to “bear spotter.” I don’t know why this was ever cast. I enjoyed it tremendously, though. I was hoping it was going to be a werewolf, but, oh well.

The Jardin is lovely as well–prettier than the Bois, I think.

There was a line that was allegedly twenty minutes long to enter the zoo. “Bitch, I ain’t waitin’!” I muttered in my brain. Today, the voice in my head was a Southern woman. So, Jessica and I walked to the other entrance where there were maybe three people waiting in line. What fools!

It was nine euros, but this is what Jessica wanted to do, so in we went. Immediately, I felt exhausted. People were everywhere and there were so many children. I think that I might maybe like my own child if I were ever to have one, but those belonging to other people are easily the most annoying things in the world. (Actually I pretended to have a conversation with my three-year-old, “You know you ruined daddy’s life, don’t you?” I also said that I would send it away to boarding school until it was at least seven. I’ll be a great father.)

We met many interesting animals–most of them walked away from us or relieved themselves as we approached. They don’t seem to know that we paid for entertainment–dance monkey, dance. There was one animal, that I’d never heard of before, that I cannot remember the name of, that licked our hands. He was sweet. We went into the reptile house and looked at lizards and snakes.

This was disturbing. The mouse just wanted a kiss.

I met a goat. I love goats.

I made Absolutely Fabulous references:

If you don’t get that, educate yourself here.

We saw giant cats, shedding camels, sloths, alligators, enormous rabbits, black swans, owls eating baby chicken corpses and much more.

I wanted to steal the eggs from this ostrich. I want to make ostrich egg macarons.

Jessica and I made good friends with this fellow:

These things were adorable. They look like llamas, but there weren’t.

The last thing we saw, and my new animal obsession was the red panda. HE WAS FREAKING ADORABLE. I must adopt. Is that even allowed?

And then we left. It was an alright zoo, probably not worth the full nine euros, but it was a pleasant outing. I look forward to seeing the other zoo when they finish refurbishing it in two years. Who knows if I’ll even be alive then? 2012…hello?

It was a long walk home. We walked along the river and watched people dancing. We were tempted to show them the proper way to bust a move, but they didn’t deserve it. We finally made it to our street and I went into Miss Manon to get a baguette and a dessert for dinner. I had the Osiris again–it was so good. The old woman winked at me today–of all the things in Paris that I’ll miss, it’ll probably be that bakery and her.

We had ravioli for dinner again–I’m addicted to it. I tried a new variety that was spinach and ricotta. There was also basil in it and it was fantastic. Processed food is so good here. I’m going to miss it something fierce next week when I’m back in the USA.

We watched an episode of A Haunting during dinner on my laptop. I watched this show a few years ago and found it terrifying. Their depiction of “A Haunting in Connecticut” still terrifies me, but this episode was so lame. Nothing happened to the people and they were freaking out. We had a good time laughing over the melodrama and idiocy of those involved.

Good evening.

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