Before this weekend, I wasn’t sure how I felt about going to a spa, or about going to a zoo. The idea of a spa seemed a bit uncomfortable for a girl like me. Get a massage? You mean, have a stranger touch me? You mean have a stranger rub oil on me?! And pay for it? This sounds like incredibly dodgy territory we’re straying into… As for zoos, I wondered how ethical it was to stare at an animal in a cage and say ‘wowee, look at that elephant roaming around in a cage, I bet it’s real happy to be gawked at!’ I definitely knew I didn’t like the use of animals in the circus*, and I may have over-applied this logic to the zoo as well.
Today, I can proudly say that I went to a spa, and I enjoyed it. I got a professional massage, and it was good. I won’t say it wasn’t awkward at all, but it was so relaxing I utterly stopped caring after about a minute. I put on my swimming costume – the world may never know how much angst this swimwear situation caused me – and I flapped about in the pool. I sat in the sauna, I sat in the steam room, and then I sat in the jacuzzi. Then I put on a pretty dress and ate a three course meal. I won’t be rushing to go back to a spa, but I had a wonderful time, and I don’t feel iffy about it now. The grounds that the building was set in were beautiful, but as it rained steadily the whole time we were there, we didn’t get much chance to explore.
The zoo? The zoo was AMAZING. The animals weren’t in actual cages. I may have been imagining a set-up that was somewhat like an animal jail. Apparently most zoos nowadays, including Chester Zoo, do a lot of conservation work and breeding of endangered species. A modern zoo is not, as far as I can see, an arena of abuse. The flamingos, for example, have been taken from inhospitable environments, and their enclosure is behind one way glass so that they do not become upset from seeing people watching them. While I walked around, my brain was skipping between ‘OMG ANIMALS, CUTE ANIMALS, BIG ANIMALS, WEIRD ANIMALS, OMG’ and ‘These animals should be in the wild! What are they doing in a zoo?! Let the animals go free!’ By the time I left, though, I honestly felt very reassured about the whole situation. The entire concept of a zoo is perhaps an odd one, but they are a thing and will probably continue to be a thing, and in my opinion Chester Zoo is a good one. They seem to care about the animals further than just ‘everyone come look at them!’
The last picture is of the fridge in the sitting room in my house. That’s all there is in it – a variety of alcohol, and some posh chocolate. Well, the posh chocolate isn’t there now, because I ate it.
* Despite having issues with circus animals, one of my most prized possessions is a photograph of my younger self astride an elephant at the circus. Maybe that elephant wasn’t particularly pleased with the situation. I definitely was.
How do you feel about spas? Zoos? Circuses?