When Ravi and I took E to the zoo the weekend of Chinese New Year, we saw a poster advertising a “flamingo parade” at Jurong Bird Park on the weekends through the end of Chinese New Year. We checked out the website, and saw that Kai-Lan of “Ni Hao Kai-Lan” (American kids show, basically Dora the Explorer but with Mandarin instead of Spanish) would be there, too…and that sealed our fate; after Elmo, Kai-Lan is Elanor’s favorite show.
I had been to the bird park once before. I looked back through the archives to see if I’d written about it, and I can’t say I’m all that shocked to see I hadn’t. I love zoos, but I’m not really a “bird” person. Additionally, Jurong Bird Park is apparently where the “we love to bite Crystal” convention is held…whenever I step foot there. Ravi suffered no bites, E got 2 and I got something like 9. There are also a lot of other flying gnat/bug/type things. When you add to it that the waterpark is sorely in need of renovation, it’s just not a place I want to give up zoo time to “enjoy.”
But, Kai-Lan is Kai-Lan…and Ellie peed in the potty for the first time ever Sunday morning…so off to the Bird Park we went.
We arrived just in time for Kai-Lan’s show. Ironically we’d worried about missing it as it was the last show of Chinese New Year, but the ampitheater was more than 70% empty. We had no trouble scoring front row seats (or rather, I got front row handicapped parking off to the side and Ravi and E got front row seats in the center).
The “show” was a guy from Nickelodeon reading a story about Chinese New Year while his assistant held up pictures of Kai-Lan and her buddies. E was still a bit too small to enjoy any of the audience participation and Ravi says she kept asking where Kai-Lan was.
After the story, everyone lined up for a meet and greet (which I’ve learned at Disneyworld is called a “Love and Shove”) and they brought out some poor person who was dressed as Kai-Lan (see video below). Apparently this is when E went nuts and started shouting “Kai-Lan!” over and over like a tween at a Justin Bieber concert.
Not shown…the brain cells I’ve lost inadvertently memorizing this damn theme song
Ellie got her picture with Kai Lan (although it’s certainly not one of the best pictures of her, ever)
We then got some snacks, where Elanor appropriated her father’s orange slushy drink.
It was eleventy-billion degrees out, so naturally the birds we first decided to take in were the penguins. Who live in a nice climate controlled area. With shade and air con. You know, I never really appreciated penguins enough until then.
We were pulled from our air con induced haze of happy by the drums signalling a lion/dragon dance. Can a local please explain the difference? Because damned if I can figure it out. I would very much like to be enlightened so I never have to hear myself be an idiot American on this topic again.
Let’s all remember it’s my first CNY and understand that I’m an idiot American, m’kay?
While you’re at it, can you explain to the toddler that I can’t make lion or dragon dances happen out of nowhere? She keeps demanding them and looking at me expectantly. Sorry child, I can not make dragon or lion dancers appear in the middle of a bathroom, at McDonald’s or just before bed.
Our last stop of the day (it got too hot) was the flamingo lake. Which was sponsored by…Kai-Lan!
After that, between the bugs, the heat and the hills Ravi was trying to push the wheelchair up and down (coupled with a chest cold breeding in his lungs which has now jumped to me) the next time Ellie asked for Kai-Lan, Ravi and I chose to interpret this as a request to come home and watch Kai-Lan on DVD in the nice bug-free, air-conditioned environment of our home.
I feel like I’m selling the park short…if you’re into birds, you might really love it. But I think once a year is enough for me. Next time, though, I’m bringing DEET and creating a 2-3 foot could around me in all directions to keep the damn bugs off me.