it’s a given. whenever people talk about about australia, they immediately associate the country with kangaroos. fair enough. those marsupials are native to the land down under, after all.
which is why you can’t really blame me and my apparent excitement to finally be able to see one in the flesh, as a way of augmenting the ones i saw only on pictures over the years. i remember, on my first few weeks in oz, i told jeff i would LOVE to see a kangaroo. just as i remember him telling me, “dude, they’re like fucking rats here!”
but i didn’t care. in my mind, i was like, “if i don’t see one freakin’ kangaroo during my stay here, i might as well say i haven’t been to australia at all.” which is a pretty rational thought, if you ask me.
three months later, we were driving down stud road when i caught a glimpse of something brownish lying dead on the curb.
“boo, you know what that was?” he asked.
“no, what was it?”
“that was a kangaroo.”
and just the mere mention of the word kangaroo got me all hyped up like a little girl doing a happy dance. “OMIGOD! I FINALLY SAW A KANGAROO!!! IT’S A DREAM COME TRUE!”
i admit, i did seem pathetic getting all giddy at the thought of seeing a kangaroo (and a dead one, at that) for the very first time. even if i didn’t actually see it per se. because it was nothing more than a blurry 2-second glimpse. at the corner of my eye.
so a week later, he took me to myuna farm. where the kangaroos there are actually alive and, uh, kicking. the dude probably felt sorry for me.
standing outside the wire fence, i took in all their physical characteristics by direct observation. the first thing i noticed was the awkward way of which they hopped. or maybe that’s just me, but the way i saw it, it seemed as if they were always on the verge of toppling over, by virtue of the apparent disproportion of their upper bodies in relation to their hind legs. kind of like the way i imagined what would happen to a t-rex when it picks up a basketball from the ground.
the second thing i noticed was their heavily muscular tail. i put 2 and 2 together and therefore came up with the intelligent conclusion that those tails somehow help with their balance and all that. because when they were just standing still staring at the bag of bread i was holding which i wasn’t allowed to feed them (at the entrance, the ticket guy gives you some bread to feed the animals.), their tail sort of acted like the back of a chair or something on which they could lean on.
one of the female kangaroos had a joey in her pouch. it was the cutest thing! her baby was just snug in there, although judging from one of leg dangling out, i don’t know if it’s a comfortable enough ride. but i’m sure nature took care of that already and the joey seems pretty content so let’s leave it at that.
the kangaroos’ next door neighbors turned out to be emus, which, up until that day, i had no idea what they were. but they’re kind of like ostriches, except that they’re not.
and the coolest thing about them? it’s the male emus that look after the babies, build the nest, sit on the eggs, and protect the chicks. the females obviously just sit back and chill.
however, the biggest lesson i learned on that day came from jeff himself — the reason why australia’s national symbols are that of an emu and a kangaroo?
because both animals cannot move backwards, only forward.
which, i reckon, is a genius symbolism. and yeah, i doubt if everyone knows about that little-known fact about the kangaroo and the emu. it was something i never would have known either had jeff not told me. so, uh, thanks jeffy! and thank you for your really nice photos too which, when placed next to mine, make my photos look like shit. lol.