Getting everyone to agree on going to the Bird Park was not a problem. Getting everyone's schedule to match was tough.
We planned this outing from May and told En in advance that she can't spoil our plans just because school had something on or that she suddenly developed fever or flu.
Getting Brian to avail himself that day was not a problem at all. He would happily skip tuition for it... plus, he doesn't get sick too often.
Wayne, being 2+ years old, didn't have much of a schedule except for the fact that he sleeps in the afternoon.
Om was supposed to come but was stuck in Butterworth, visiting relatives.
So, on Monday (July 20th), Matthew, MinChee, Eunice, Tusi, Brian, En, Wayne and I went to the KL Bird Park in 2 cars. We weren't sure where the place was and overshot along Jalan Parlimen going into Jalan Cenderawasih and ended up at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. We made a u-turn there and went all the way back to Jalan Parlimen and into Jln Cenderawasih.
The Bird Park is near Bukit Aman.
We arrived at about 10.30am and easily found many parking spots available.
The ticket booth was at the entrance of the park. For foreigners, it's RM42 perperson. For Malaysians (we must produce our Mykad to get this discount), we pay RM15 perperson. A further discount of RM5 would be given if we had produced either an MJ or Jusco card but I didn't know that - even though it was stated on a piece of laminated paper right in front of me. I didn't know it was a FURTHER discount. Children below 12 is RM6 perperson. Tusi managed to qualify under the RM15 level, having explained that she is the maid. Actually, we wanted her to have a good time, to enjoy a little and be a tourist.
This bird park is the biggest free- flight walk-in aviary in the world... and I didn't know that it existed until a couple of months ago.
The children were all excited, seeing huge birds walking along the path .. or perching on a branch above them. They kept exclaiming, "Look! There's a bird there" and pointing everywhere. Wayne was happily immitating En & Brian, saying, "Look, Bird".
The koi pond was a hit with the children. Earlier, at the ticket booth, I bought 3 packets of fish food. I passed two packets to them and those fat fish got fatter that day. Wayne really loved the fish. They were all playing with the water too.
We stopped for a break after walking for 1 hour 15 minutes. En and Brian, each having RM10, paid for their drinks. We are trying to instill in them the value of money and how to budget with what they have and what they want.
We got to take pictures with birds of our choice. I asked En and Brian if they wanted a group picture or single shots.... and they chose the latter. So, for RM8 perperson, they went in one by one.
En was pretty brave. The owl actually left marks on her scrawny arms.... and she is sooo not scared of the huge birds.
Brian was pretty scared. You can see it in his face. He kept saying that the birds were heavy.
Tusi was scared at first but wanted to look nice for the camera ... and so, she smiled her best.
As for me, I guess I am a natural, huh? I figured that I should also take this opportunity to have my picture taken ... a memento.
We hurried on to catch the 12.30 Bird Show at the other end of the park. Well, I must say, the children loved the show and the many tricks the birds were able to perform.
After the show, they played at the playground nearby. I actually didn't want them to "waste" time there but Eunice was kind enough to allow them 5 minutes (which turned out to be longer than that) to go down the slide.
We took another route to go back to the main entrance and came across this beautiful cascading waterfall (which is man-made, of course).
We also saw ostriches and emus .. those big bodied, skinny legged birds.
The nursery was nearby but there was nothing much in there.... except for chicks, artwork of the colouring competition held in December 2008 and some posters about how chicks grow into chickens. It was smelly in there.
There was also a gallery (air-conditioned, much to my delight) which showed deboned birds and the skeleton of two ostriches.
We walked on. By that time, it was past 1pm. En wanted to see more birds. Brian's stomach was growling. He kept saying that his lunch time is 1pm and En retorted that it was already 1.30pm .. so it makes no difference anyway.
En managed to get us to go into "World of Parrots". Brian soon forgot his hunger pangs when he was given a chance to feed the parrots. En fed the parrots too.
There was once when a bird landed on Brian's head .. it was a good thing he had his cap on, otherwise I shudder to think what Brian would do if the bird had a nature call to answer to. Anyway, Brian was a little worried about the bird, anyway, but I explained that the bird only wanted to reach the milky drink from that point.
We finally got to Hornbill Restaurant, much to Brian's relief. I ordered a chicken pie, Brian had beef burger, En chicken burger and Tusi ... well, because she hasn't tried potato wedges before, I ordered those for her. In the end, Eunice gave her half of her beef burger, En gave her another half of her chicken burger, I gave her a bite of my chicken pie and we all shared the wedges (because she simply couldn't finish so much food).
En and Brian both wanted to spend their balance money on icecream (for dessert). I told them that it's cheaper to get it outside the restaurant.. but on the way out, we had to pass through the gift shop and both of them wanted something in there. En wanted a pair of binoculours which cost RM10 and Brian wanted a plastic cap with a mini fan powered via solar energy and shades - this would set him back by RM19.
Now, En had only RM9 (not sure why she had so much, even after paying for her drink which cost her RM3 ... someone miscalculated very badly) and Brian, RM6.
I told them that they had to choose between the things that they wanted and ice cream .... and they decided to forgo the cool dessert.
I wanted to teach them the value of money .. so I questioned En first .... "You have only RM9 and the binoculours cost you RM10. How are you going to get the extra RM1?" She asked me to lend her RM10 and said that she will pay me back when we get home (I still haven't seen the money yet).
As for Brian, he is short of RM13 and knew that he couldn't pay me back even when he got home. Well, I was thinking .... for him to sacrifice the ice cream meant that he really wanted the cap, so I asked him for his RM6 and told him that I would come up with the balance.
Both En and Brian were very happy with their "toys" ... and didn't even think about their ice cream. Aunty Eunice was kind enough to say that she will spend us all ice cream - and that includes ME!!! :) :) :)
We left just before 4pm. En kept wanting to see the 3.30pm bird show (again!!) but I didn't want to get stuck in the traffic and explained that to her. She said that she didn't mind getting stuck in the traffic. Brian echoed her thoughts. I retorted that "I" was the one who would suffer because I was driving. I don't think they could relate to that. They were probably thinking, "So what? Sit in the car and wait with us-lah".
In the car, En was so tired, she was the first one to fall asleep. Tusi dozed off too. Brian was still awake, maybe thinking back on the many birds he had seen.