I’ll bet you’ve heard of being addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, and even shopping, but did you know that it’s possible to have a penguin addiction?
So now you’re laughing. Why do you doubt me? I know what I’m talking about, and a penguin addiction is a serious problem! Here are six signs that you might be completely, totally, irreversibly addicted to penguins.
1. You go try to see them every chance you get.
And I mean every chance. If there’s even a possibility of penguins showing up, you’re there in the hide, scanning the shoreline, waiting, uttering curses under your breath at the people who are walking all over the beach and scaring them away.
It doesn’t matter how many you’ve seen before, you still go. And even on beaches that are not actually known for having penguin nests, you’re still keeping a sharp eye out for that little black and white waddle!
You visit the colony during the day, just to see where they live, even though there’s basically no chance that any little blue penguin will be hanging around outside its nest in bright sunshine. None.
You stalk them like a suspicious lover, peeking in the doorway of their boxes. And when you catch a glimpse of a beak, you wait in stillness and silence outside, telephoto lens ready in case the penguin decides to bravely come out of hiding.
2. You’ll wait for hours.
When you get to that beach that is supposed to sometimes have a penguin or two nesting on it, you quite happily put yourself down and wait for an hour, two, maybe more, your bum going numb from sitting on that rock, or your neck getting sore from craning your head out the window of the hide.
The wind picks up, and sand starts to blow across the beach with a force that feels like a million tiny pinpricks when it hits your bare skin. You have sand in your hair, your eyes, ears, and nose and crunching between your teeth, and you’re starting to shiver from the cold, and yet still you sit there, hoping that cute little black and white figure will suddenly waddle out of the water and up the beach.
And you know if you give up, as soon as you turn your back a penguin will race up the beach behind you, laughing to himself about your lack of patience.
3. You take eleventy billion pictures.
And they’re all pretty much the same. You’re working on the theory that the more you take, the more likely you are to have a good one, but mostly you’re so far away that all you get is a little blurry black and white speck working its way up the beach.
But no matter how tiny the blur of penguin in the photo is, you smile every time you look back at all those pictures.
4. You’ll happily pay to go see them.
When you are addicted to penguins, you’ll pay to go see them, because they’re endangered and the cost of that penguin tour goes entirely towards their conservation. And not only does it mean that you get to see some adorable penguins close up, (which is hard to do anywhere else!) but it also means that they’ll still be there in the future so you can go see them again and again and again….oh and for your kids (or, uh….nephews…) to go see too!
5. You have to restrain yourself from accumulating all kinds of penguin paraphernalia.
Penguin t-shirt? Yup. Penguin keychain? Yes please! Stuffed penguin toy? Why not? They’re just so cute, you want a penguin on everything you own!
Miraculously, despite spending a long time browsing the penguin gift shop I have done quite well at this and thus have no penguin-themed items! I’m actually quite amazed and impressed with myself for this!
6. You paint them.
Penguins start to occupy your every thought and your imagination starts running wild with penguins doing all kinds of human-like activities, and because you lived in Vietnam, they were mostly typically Hanoian things. And there’s something so adorable about it that you just have to spend hours and hours in lacquer class painting penguins acting like Vietnamese people.
Now, does anyone know of a rehab centre for penguin addiction?
Are you addicted to penguins like I clearly am? What thing or creature have you obsessively gone to see when you travel?