Annick blogs: “I knew Ivo in Amsterdam”

Six months have passed since I was in Berlin. It was freezing then and summer now, but everything seems the same. Except for the hooligan filled streets because of the World Championships Soccer.

At the zoo you can actually hear the beastly sounds of the footballfans and the noise coming from the giant tv screen at the Gedachtnisskirche. But in the zoo I find my way very easily. After two laps, the zoo is just like Artis zoo in Amsterdam. 19th Century architecture, small lanes and many, many people that come here daily. After all my research, I can spot them from a distance.

At the gorillas I find the same middle aged ladies as I do in Artis. I decided to observe only today. I watch Ivo and get a feel of the atmosphere. It is all very relaxed but I know I don’t go unnoticed. The ladies see me. Ivo doesn’t: he just does what he always does.

After two hours I can’t stop myself. I want to chat with the visitors. I know a simple “I know Ivo from Amsterdam” will be enough to get them talking. They immediately start teling me stories about Ivo. That he is not doing well. That he still hasn’t fathered any babies yet. And they let me in on a rumour: a new female will arrive shortly. 

Tommorrow I will speak with Herr Opitz, Ivo’s keeper. I hope he doesn’t see me talking with the visitors...

June 2006, Berlin