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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rachael, Jacob, and Rachel go to the Zoo, or: how we learned to herd wayward animals.

11:12 pm CET

Just realised that today marks one month since arriving in Budapest. Crazy how times flies, eh?

Anyway, I managed to sort of sleep in this morning before having to leave for lunch with my mom's friend's brother and his five-year-old daughter. He teaches at another university in the city, so he wanted to meet to see if there was anything I needed. The meal was fantastic (though isn't it always when someone else is paying?) and I had a good time chatting with the two of them (the little girl was absolutely adorable).

After lunch I took the 47 to Deák Ferenc tér where I was to meet Jacob and Rachel again so we could go to the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden in City Park. Of course it had to rain today, though, so when we got there, many of the animals were somewhere inside where we couldn't see them. We saw all the typical zoo animals: tigers, bears, elephants, zebras, snakes, etc. And of course we saw the red pandas (I kind of had a cute-induced seizure) and some gorillas (there was a really cute baby one, but then we saw its mother eating poop and immediately decided it was time to leave that part of the exhibit). In one of the bird houses, this big blue bird with red eyes had flown over the glass divider and onto the path, so we decided to try to herd it back into its proper exhibit in the room next door. Rachel and I held the doors open while Jacob slowly followed it, trying to keep it moving toward us. It got flustered, though, and flew over Jacob's head (he freaked out; it was hilarious) and landed on the glass divider, so we gave up and continued on our way.

Following our encounter with the bird, we took a break and went to the other side of the zoo. We watched some seals doing tricks with their trainers and walked around some more. On our way out we passed the petting zoo, which was filled with goats. Apparently the zoo is short staffed or something, because there was nobody around running the exhibit. And with no one running the petting zoo to make sure everything was done properly, someone left the gate open. And because someone left the gate open, of course a baby goat escaped and ran across the path to eat the seemingly delicious-looking leaves on the ground. It was at this point that we got there. We looked desperately for a zoo worker and, upon finding no one, I took it upon myself to retrieve the goat and put it back in its pen. This took around fifteen minutes of me standing like a complete moron holding out leaves to the goat in numerous attempts to coax it closer to me (the "here, goatie goat!!!" every five seconds probably didn't help all that much). When it finally got close enough, I grabbed it as carefully as I could, carried it across the path, and gently dropped it back over the fence into its enclosure, where it pranced off as if nothing had ever happened.

Once we were certain that the goat wouldn't escape again, we continued on the path toward the entrance (and saw what looked like a three-headed camel...) and left. We walked to the metro station across from Hősök tere and took it to the Oktogon, where we found a TGI Friday's for dinner (I know, I know, but give me some credit: I've resisted the American food for a whole month). After dinner, we went back to my dorm to watch another movie (Galaxy Quest this time).

Tomorrow is back to the ol' grind with the start of our philosophy of language course. This philosophy class should be better than my introduction to it during my first week... I hope.

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