We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

I almost missed my second entry because I was doing what boiled down to nothing on the internet.  Grazing,  my friend Chris calls it; the act of surfing the web as mindlessly as a cow chews cud.  I wonder how I – and most others – would deal in a world without technology.  Robert and Waltraud’s house in Kitzbühel is probably the closest I will get and even here I can’t resist the lure of a glowing screen and a keyboard.

Today I spent the day with Heidi, Robert and Waltraud’s daughter-in-law, and her two kids, who are lovely, but somewhat bewildering.  I’m convinced that I could have lived in Austria my whole life, be fluent in German and I would still only understand about half of what they were saying to me.  Fighting through childish mumble, Tirolerdialekt and a language I’m barely competent in generally results in a pretty one sided conversation – I tend to throw in a noncommital “oh”, an understanding “ah” or maybe, if I’m feeling cocky a “ja”.  Still, they are kind enough not to get too exasperated with the confused-looking grown-up (reluctant though I am to admit that that must be how they see me), so I can’t complain.

I went to a sort of zoo today.  I initially thought it was a reserve of sorts for the local animals of the Tirol, though I may have misunderstood what Waltraud was telling me about the place as I was under the impression that Japanese Macaque were native to Japan…

I was actually surprised by how much similarity to humans the Macaque had.  Maybe I’ve not been to a zoo in a few years, but I don’t remember other monkey’s having faces which showed such expression as the Macaque, who was expressing a sort of resigned annoyance at tourists taking photos of of it whilst it was eating.

The macaque shows exactly what it thinks of us tourists

The macaque shows exactly what it thinks of us tourists

I only saw one Macaque in there, I hope there was another.  Captivity can’t be fun at the best of times, but it would be worse to be there alone.

Most of the animals I saw were local to the Tirol.  Deer, donkeys and the smallest goats I have ever seen roamed free around us.  We arrived at feeding time and all the free-roaming animals were eating from troughs in the same place, th goats were so small that they were standing in the troughs and almost buried amongst the massive heads eating around them.  The were incredibly cute.  I also saw a couple of young bucks lock horns, nothing major, just a quick discussion about who was eating where which lasted exactly as long as it took for me to turn on my camera, so I am sadly lacking photos of that.

Tiny goats!

Tiny goats!

We also saw a flock of geese which got pretty damned loud as we approached their coop.  I observed, in German, that they must have eggs to the complete apathy of the two young children.

Afterwards we went to a park just outside the zoo, where the kids tried to see how many times they could pull the “one more time” game on the slide when mum said it was time to leave.  Credit to her, Heidi is a very patient woman, and her kids are muh better behaved than some I’ve met.  Besides the zoo was half-way up a mountain (as most things here are) so it gave me a bit more time to look at the view.

Had I grown up here, I wonder if I would appreciate this view less?  Would familiarity with these mountains mean that I wouldn’t understand how beautiful they are?  Has growing up in Runcorn, an industrial town on a dirty river, lowered my standards so this place is even more beautiful than it seems?  If so, I guess there are some reasons to be glad I was raised there.

Explore posts in the same categories: Philosophising, Travel

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