Kai Lan and CNY at Jurong Bird Park

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.

I’m not clear on why it’s the year of the flamingo there instead of the rabbit, but let’s go with it anyway.

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)

Contrary to the image, E is not actually about to be fed to Kai-Lan

We then got some snacks, where Elanor appropriated her father’s orange slushy drink.

Someone, hold me.  I just had a flash forward to her first frat party appearance.  Or her first experience with a bong.  Either way…hold me.

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?

What the hell are you?

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!

If you really love me, you’ll figure out a way to bring this bench home with us, Mommy.

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.

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19 Responses to Kai Lan and CNY at Jurong Bird Park

  1. Aimee says:

    “Sorry child, I can not make dragon or lion dancers appear in the middle of a bathroom, at McDonald’s or just before bed.”

    CJ does this too! At bedtime sometimes, usually right after the light goes out, he’ll start a litany of requests for things he’d like better than going to sleep: watch a movie, cookie, playground, etc. Sorry kid, the playground is not going to miraculously appear in your bedroom.

    • Crystal says:

      Not that I don’t like being thought of as a being with the powers of a Q (trek nerdy reference for those who are far better socialized than I) but yeah…excellent stalling tactic, poor connection with reality. Toddlers…what are you going to do?

  2. kirsten says:

    Lion dance = with lions and dragon dance = with a dragon on sticks.

    That’s how I see it anyway.

  3. Ali Wicks-Lim says:

    LOVED this post! It made me laugh. And after the morning I just had that was a very good thing.

  4. Lion dance has lions which have 4 legs made up of 2 dancers.

    Dragon dance has dragon(s) chasing a fire ball. Dragons are long, and have many performers whose heads are not hidden.

    The lion above is a Northern lion and sometimes those dance on big balls which may or may not have flame patterns on them, but bottom line:

    4 legs = Lion

    Lotsa lotsa legs = Dragon

  5. bookjunkie says:

    your baby girl looks so tiny next to that huge mascot. Her name was Kai Lan?….that’s a Chinese vegetable that’s green, and I don’t think kids are fond of it.

  6. kirsten says:

    Oh and just because I think this might amuse you. When I was telling my mum about Ni Hao, Kai-Lan she thought I said “Ni Hao, Guai Lan” and didn’t stop laughing for 15 minutes.

    “Guai Lan”, literally translated from Hokkien, is “weird dick”. But if you call a person “guai lan”, it means that you’re saying he/she gives everyone a lot of trouble. Like in Singapore friends would say, “Eh, you damn guai lan leh!” as in “you are super troublesome”.

    (I might have just translated from Singlish to Singlish there. But sometimes it really loses its oomph if I make it proper English.)

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