Tag Archives: zoo

Joburg Zoo & Constitution Hill

In this edition of Lindsay (+ hot husband sometimes) does South Africa, I’ll share my photos of Constitution Hill (with sad feelings) and the Johannesburg Zoo (with not so sad feelings). Choose your poison. Also, I wrote them in reverse order.

On Sunday, we trekked to the Johannesburg Zoo.  By trekked, I mean we walked a mile to the train then got off the train and walked what was supposed to be another mile, but was probably more like two miles because google maps IS A DIRTY LIAR sometimes. Because we walked google maps took us through this fancy neighborhood which was not at all creepy and if my mom was here she would be trying to climb walls to see the houses because she’s nosy.  Then she’d get electrocuted by one of those fences and hopefully it give her super powers or something.  Or we’d get arrested for burglary.

(Also, burglary does not sound like it should have two r’s. Thanks english language.)

We finally arrived at our destination despite the lack of appropriate signage and google maps FAILING.  This zoo was clearly not the best zoo. I mean, it was nice…but weird?

Upon entering we were accosted by a nice gentlemen who wanted to take our picture (the kind they take and then you pay for) and I said oh no thank you (because I wasn’t emotionally prepared for this interaction).  His response was ever so tersely “IT’S PART OF THE EXPERIENCE. LET ME TAKE YOUR PICTURE.”  Did you just imagine him talking in a demon voice? I did.

Hot husband being one big muscle was, of course, hungry, because cardio. He went to the snack truck which was, again of course, out of everything.  Including water. No water for you.

We began our promenade around the turtle enclosure where a young family was VIOLATING THE RULES BY TRYING TO FEED THE TURTLES. WHY DO YOU DO THIS HUMANS? WHAT CAN’T YOU FOLLOW THE RULES? Hot husband noticed this immediately and I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  Clearly, I was wrong again. Don’t tell him I said that.

We then saw Violet the Turtle try and fight Buttercup the Turtle.  Turtle fights don’t really show up well on camera.

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Turtle fight:  evidence or lack thereof

Photos from our adventure

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Then, we had to trek back and beat the rain.  Oops. Overall successful event despite walking 9 miles.

The next day, I took myself to Constitution Hill where the Constitutional Court of South Africa sits and the historical prison #4 sight.  Initially, I was hopeful because I managed to leave the house and do a thing – always a feat of strength if we are being honest. Then, I asked some guys where I go to pay for a tour (to be fair to myself, they were at a desk in what I didn’t know was the Constitutional Court welcome center.  I was then promptly told that I “shouldn’t go places alone because then I ask the wrong people the wrong questions.”

I feel as though this is a philosophical statement, because it is clearly not based in any level of reality.  Am I not supposed to go anywhere unless I have someone to go with? How do I know I am asking the wrong person? WHY DON’T YOU HAVE APPROPRIATE SIGNAGE FOR THESE HISTORICAL SIGHTS? IS THAT NOT A REASONABLE REQUEST?

Anyway after I was verbally dressed down by a very mean bus tour guide – I found my way to the further spiral into situational depression.  Photos are no substitute for experience, but Prison number four was a horrible place were people were treated very badly for crimes, political activism, and for simply breaking curfew until 1983 during Apartheid in South Africa.   The guide showed us the solitary confinement cells and after she finished discussing the conditions and various stories, she allowed us to look around.  I walked into the entrance of one cell which was the size of a small half-bathroom covered in writing and swathed in darkness from the lack of light through the tiny peep hole door, and I felt terror.  The tiny room was so loud, violent, sad, and I felt like my chest was going to explode.  There are not many places that make me want to hyperventilate while simultaneously ugly sobbing, but this is definitely number one.  There’s not much more I wish to write about it, but I suggest you google it.

Following the tour of the prison we visited the constitutional court which was full of symbolism for traditional South African justice.  Twas beautiful.

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