The long awaited arrival of the two giant panda on loan from the Chinese government has finally happened. Adelaide certainly gave them a great welcome – with wild wind, strong rain with some intermittent bright blue sky complete with sunshine. It’s the kind of day that makes it difficult for you to be dressed appropriately – if you rug yourself up nicely, you’ll be steaming hot when the sun is out, and yet if you only wear your tshirt, you’ll be freezing your bonbon off when the rain and the wind return. Because of the everchanging and predictable weather, you just don’t know whether you should take the umbrella out or just keep it dry in your bag. After a while I get quite used to walking in a 2-second rain and being dried by the sun that I start to enjoy this rinse-and-spin washing cycle. 🙂 At least, I’m wearing my old long-sleeved British India top and it’s keeping me relatively warm and cool at the appropriate times. Hahaha. 🙂
So yes, Wangwang and Funi (the names of the Panda who will reside in the Adelaide Zoo) have certainly become household names here in Adelaide. A lot of businesses have adopted them in recent times and promoted their arrival very strongly. A colleague from work asked me whether their names meant anything and I cheekily replied, “Are all Asians expected to speak Chinese and know what they mean?”. 🙂 It’s like expecting an Englishman to know idioms in Portuguese just because they are caucasians. Haha.
Because of their arrival, traffic was blocked at the West Terrace and Grote Street intersection to allow the panda entourage to enter the city block. Apparently the pandas’ flight was delayed so they couldn’t join the entourage. Various utes carried decorated panda “statues” in the sponsors’ colours and patterns, which certainly made the entourage very colourful. The panda statues are then plonked in the middle of Rundle Mall, complete with the Lord Mayor with his regalia, people giving out balloons, and a lion dance troupe to entertain the shoppers in the Mall. Of course, it won’t be complete without Wangwang and Funi merchandises for sale at Myer, as well as other trinkets to celebrate their arrival in Adelaide. Complete with Christmas shopping season in full swing, Adelaide is certainly in a bit of a festive Panda-monium. We now have the only pandas in the whole of Australia. Woohoo. 😛
The reason I was in the city early today was because I needed another haircut so now I’m freshly shorn and ready to face the new week with a neat and tidy hairstyle. Anyway, it’s time to brace the cold and windy and hot and bright day again. It’s a perfect Spring day and I certainly won’t complain about it!