As with the other posts, most of this was written in chunks throughout the day, starting and stopping. So bits may feel a little choppy. Usually a series of "....................." will indicate one of those break points.
I woke this morning feeling a bit of a burn. Not much. I don’t burn easily. As intended I pulled my ass out of bed to hit the continental breakfast. It was gross. Two types of cereal, coffee, bagels, (that someone was touching and putting back on the platter…) and cookies and orange juice. Not a bad selection... but I'm picky when it comes to breakfast food.
The bagel was the only appealing option, until I saw Mr. Grabby handling all of them. So I left, remembering seeing a Burger King when I accidentally went the wrong direction yesterday, which just so happens to be the direction I needed to head for the zoo. So that’s where I am as I write this. Sitting in a rather…. Erm…. Seedy looking part of Miami, biding time at a Burger King.
OOOoops! Only a couple minutes ‘til my bus. Gotta Go!
(Continued on Bus.)
As I was saying…
This part of Miami is not as “fun” as other parts. It’s sad to see the more poverty stricken sections. There are homeless here. The inner city had beggars. These are people that ask for nothing more than a table at a Burger King to sit at and wait for life to stop being cruel to them. A table they are often denied and shooed away by management. These are people in need of a miracle. …These are people. From the guy that was muttering to himself on the subway and then complaining to me about people calling him on his cell phone, to the gentleman that “made a mess” of his table at the fast food place, though I didn’t see anything more than a couple of crumbs…. These are people.
So I made it to my bus… but with a heavy heart.
I’m still looking forward to the zoo but the day is not starting off well. Breakfast mishaps and heavy hearts aside, I had one other little thing go awry. As my room safe was closing it bounced back open and now won’t close again. I wisely still left my more important credit card and passport in the room, but not as secured. And I can’t be sure that they won’t charge me for the safe mishap either. My head is a mess of stress, and I’m nervous about driving tomorrow to boot. As well as about seeing certain individuals…
In general, my highest expectation for today at this point is for the weather to hold out until tonight. I’d rather not return from the zoo drenched in rain.
The zoo has been fun so far. I was disappointed, when first walking in, to find that the reptile house was closed. But not to worry—it would seem there are reptiles EVERYWHERE!
The zoo is divided into nations and continents rather than animal classifications. Therefore, as each nation has snakes, fish, frogs, etc…. you get a dose of everything little by little. Actually, I’m almost on reptile overload at this point.
It’s cooling down and I’m a little more than half way through the park. I just fed a giraffe, which was a fantastic experience. I only got a 3 dollar bucket of Kale, and they had bigger bowls, but I figured it bests if I moved along. I would have stayed there all day otherwise. It was a great experience…. Yet also a prime display of “inherited fear.” A mother feeding a giraffe-kinda whined and ran away immediately after releasing the food. The children were instantly terrified, one of which—when told it was his turn to feed it—made a run for it. The mother, I was baffled to see, scolded the child, insisting there was nothing to be afraid of. I think the children were impressed to see me so readily approach once I got my bowl of greens. We were all instructed not to try and pet the giraffe, but that was a difficult urge to resist. While I couldn’t touch them, I did talk to them and had to give one a nudge every now and then. The bull, greedy fellow that he was, was not letting me feed the cow very easily. I kept having to force myself between the two and tell him to be patient. …I’m sure I inspired a couple of odd looks, but who cares. I used to talk to my pet snake with no ears, so I’m not going to feel too abashed for talking to a giraffe.
Excited about having fed them, I left the platform so that others may have room. I updated my facebook status, talking about the giraffes… Then began contemplating being here again. To be here. To be bold enough to come here on my own…. It was one another one of those moments of pride thinking, I’m here because I was brave enough to hop on a plane… and take a train… and a bus… through a seedy looking neighborhood… alone. Because I was, am, bold enough to come here alone. Most of the people here are groups or couples. I have to wonder if some of them didn’t just pair up for fear of needing someone to do things with. Well… at least I’ll know that will never be my issue. I'm quite comfortable alone.
…but then, I did start thinking about relationships. (And I’m editing this down a bit for privacy sake of others now.) I started thinking about the why’s and why-nots. Sorting how I feel. Why there’s a good chance that a relationship, any relationship, just isn’t going to work for me. Or at least isn’t a good idea. And how that means… that this may or may not mean the end of something I’ve been teetering on for a while.
By the time I reached the next display containing the gorillas, I heard a remarkable little voice. “Mommy, why does she look so sad? She looks like she’s gonna cry.” I looked to my left and a little girl with a the most remarkable sparkling blue eyes was looking at me from the park bench she shared with her mother. “She’s pretty mommy. Mommy, she’s pretty. Why is she sad?” Her mother just gently shushed at her, and I laughed at myself. I forced a smile as best I could at the incredibly honest, and all the more observant, little girl, and moved along. Leave it to children to show us the truths we avoid.
So now I’m sitting with the chimps, watching them watch us, and catching orange halves from the keepers. I’m not sure how much longer I can sit here. The weather is threatening rain, and the wind is picking up.
I got some great pictures. Most of which I intend to use for writing suite 101 articles. Hell, maybe I can talk to Andy and see if some of this trip is tax deductable.
It would appear that I beat the storm out. Felt a couple of drops of rain, and the wind was gusting, but not bad. I had to sacrifice the parrot feeding station, but if it was a trade in time for the giraffe, I’m glad for it.
I don’t know what I want to do about tomorrow still. I’m tired, and walking around for hours on end two days running is just a bit much. A solid 3 miles of trail through the zoo have my feet blistering some.
It’s funny how when I first got here, I worried that there wouldn’t be enough time to do everything I wanted. Technically, there isn’t. I would have to live here for that. …Like the ghost tour. There seem to be several different tours from Miami to the Keys. That’s something I’d LOVE to explore. But I’m out of cash and admittedly ready to go home I think. I’ll have to find food for tonight. Maybe I’ll order pizza. I kinda just want to get to the hotel, check my messages, and just shut down for the night.