Yes, I have a girlfriend now. We've been "going out" for just over a month now, but we haven't managed to yet have an actual date. Today was her idea originally, and we were both looking forward to it. And so it was 08:47 on Saturday as I left the train station and walked briskly East towards uni, the morning sun blazing defiantly back in my face. Every set of traffic lights was in my favour, clearly this was a good omen. 08:55 I arrived at the waterfall on the corner; leaning against the side of it I looked around, scanning every face within my vision. It was chilly when I had left home, but I already regretted bringing a jacket. Stowing it in my bag exposed my Everything2 shirt (There are currently only two of these in existence that I am aware of) underneath. It now being 09:02 and there being no sign of the one I sought, I ascended to an overhanging of a nearby building and sat back to wait. Watching several buses go past in the right direction, I wondered if she might be on one of them.
At 09:06 a figure clad in purple shirt approached the spot where I had been standing minutes earlier, dark reddish-brown ponytail swinging happily, army green bag slung at her side. She stopped, looked around and checked her phone. Unlike her last nodermeet, we were both hatless. "Tenty", cupping hands around mouth I called down. She heard not. Climbing down, I dropped to the ground and clambered the most direct route to her.
"Hello" she greeted almost bluntly. We stood silently for half a minute before embracing for as long. An uncanny silence hung over the pair of us as we proceeded further East past the hospital to the Botanic Gardens. Pausing to read a sign on the gate, I swung it open for my Tenta and filed in behind her. We wandered aimlessly around the gardens until she got bored, at which point we headed out the back, through the car park and along the river, heading still further East to the zoo.
Queueing at the entrance, Tentative spotted some people she knew, but they did not see her. We presented our student cards, and I proudly purchased two entry tickets. The young lady behind the glass questioned when we wanted to see the pandas and gave us cards for our allotted time-slot. Again we wandered in circles for forty minutes, looking at sheep on the rocks, pig-bears and snakes Tenty will not allow me to keep as pets, ate pretzels, then found our way to the Giant Panda line. The line wound through Chinese-related exhibits to their enclosure. For giant pandas, they weren't overly big, but they were still cute an' all. Perhaps in ten years when we have to give them back, the hype will have died down and no one will want to see them any more. These pandas look basically like polar bears with flattened noses and black shawls and leather flying helmets.
Pandas out of the way, we sauntered through aviaries of species from around the world. I was by now tired but glad my girl was happy and enjoying herself. If I stayed too long at an enclosure she would slip her hand around my arm and pull me to the next one. The lions were asleep, as was the tiger (their leopard recently died), and were just as placid as my cat at home. We looked at more cool cats, and meerkats (the ones someone stole) before sitting down on the main lawn for a picnic lunch. The Adelaide Zoo has heaps cool toilets. The waterless urinals have a "flush" button above them linked to an embedded computer positioned at eye-level on the wall that generates flushing sounds and displays a running total of water that has been saved since the system was installed.
Finished lunch, we tried several times before finally getting downstairs to the primate section, the sea lions, and the children's area. The children's area is for kids to touch and feed some animals, including a baby deer who kept trying to eat the zip on Tenty's bag. The kids amused us, too short to see over walls, running excitedly to point out animals to their siblings, even a little boy who clung to the leg of Tent's pants once. Tent let me buy her ice cream, and spent five minutes deciding what she wanted. Finally all the animals seen, we made our way back to uni to do some serious business. Our trip to the zoo was over. As we walked out the gate I turned to Tentative, "Today should be noded". Considering there are only a handful of active noders in the entire country, Tenty and I didn't see any others the whole day.
Duties at uni were completed shortly before four, when we walked hand in hand back in the direction from whence we had come in the morning, parting at a corner to go to our separate bus stops. It was a good day.