Taking a Day Off
I don’t really take days off from training. My “day off” usually consists of half a day of training and I like it that way. I’m not a “type A” personality who can’t relax or anything like that, but I just feel better when I do a light day than if I don’t do any training at all. I get sore, I get headaches, and sometimes I’m a jerk when I don’t train.
But today I took the day off – didn’t even set foot in the camp. My latest fight last night was only 2 rounds and I have no injuries, so normally I’d be right back at it. My husband and I have been meaning to do a little more exploring of Chiang Mai and one of the top places on our list is the Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium, which is only a 20 minute walk from the camp. So we got up, posted the fight video, had some breakfast and headed up to the zoo.
The zoo is situated right at the foot of Doi Suthep and, depending on which animal exhibits you want to see, you can end up hiking pretty high into the mountain. We wanted to see big cats, elephants, hippos, the aquarium and an elusive rhino that we almost didn’t find. This took us everywhere through the zoo and by the end of the approximate 4 hours that we were there I was really tired.
First Some Thoughts On My Fight
The Day at the Zoo
It was really lovely to spend the day looking at animals, walking through areas carved out of the jungle and down into the darkness and luminescence of the aquarium. I really wanted to see an octopus but there wasn’t one. Lucky for me I wore my awesome octopus dress (worn as a shirt) that I bought at the Night Bazaar, so all those jealous fish and sharks got to see what they’re missing.
I wrote a short description of my favorite moments from the day in an email to my mom. I’m posting it here, as it’s a good description of how I will remember the day:
The zoo was surprisingly great. The habitats are small and pretty typical – water, things to climb on, things to hide under/behind. But the animals seemed pretty comfortable and you can purchase treats to feed them. I fed a hippo that was sticking his immense head out of the water to retrieve the chopped turnips. All his teeth are in the back so he just lets all the food fall in and then kind of grinds it around. I couldn’t believe how big they are – they seemed more immense than any other animal, even though they’re so much smaller than elephants.
A leopard was harassed by his domestic partner, a black panther who kept attacking his tail. It was amazing to see such big cats acting like, well CATS.
I fed sugarcane to an elephant whose tusks were crossed in front of his trunk like folded arms. He was only interested in the food, but he touched my hands all over with his nose while he searched to make sure I wasn’t holding out on him. And he looked at me for a long while before giving up.
We were looking at ostriches and some giraffes were in the background. I wasn’t super impressed by the giraffes standing over by the trees being tall. But then the male just comes right out with this saunter, moving straight toward us (I think he thought we’d bought some bananas, which we hadn’t) and his movements were so cool, so smooth and bizarre in his angles and length. It was like he was saying, “not impressed? Can your elephant do THIS?” Graceful saunter commenced.
The lions were all young teenaged lions, kind of bored and panting like human teens. A group of kids ran by the enclosure and two of the lions perked right up. I couldn’t believe the kids were allowed to do that, but I guess the moat between the cats and the path was significant enough that it didn’t warrant actual worry – just a bad idea, I guess.
The aquarium was cool. You go under the water in a tube so all the fish swim around you and you can see their bellies and faces when they’re on the bottom. Little shrimp doing weird, ethereal shrimpy things.
My favorite thing of all to see were these little wild boars. They acted and looked just like Zoa [my dog, living with my parents right now]. They flick their tales back and forth constantly, like they’re wagging, and their little feet prance their piggy bodies around while they dig their noses into the leaves on the ground and flip things up. The little babies were the size of kittens and the full grown males were a little smaller than Zoa. Incredibly cute. I loved them.
Some pictures from the day below
click on any image twice to get a larger version.