Now that we have our Chinese taxidermy certificates, Woo and I needed to get stuffing.
A woman in Qingdao, after hours of discussions, agreed to send a friend to Beijing with a box of frozen rats. He took the all-night bus, and showed up with a dripping styrofoam box. “I got confused, and lost, and they melted a little,” he said. Continue reading “Vodka Bottles Taxidermied Into Mice”
Here’s another lamb-alicious clip from the 1975 cultural revolution ballet, “Sons & Daughters of the Grassland.” Remember, while watching, that that lamb is a metaphor for something or other. Oh, I’m probably imagining that. Happy Easter, and enjoy!
When you’re in a country that doesn’t officially celebrate Easter, like China, sometimes you get nervous. Will the Easter Bunny get his visa yanked at the last-minute? Are you sure those chocolate eggs are melamine-free? Is the holiday even legal here?
Well, we had those same concerns too, but finally decided China’s gonna love Easter!
Good Friday First, start your Easter right, with a large order of “Holy Fries” for Good Friday. Weren’t chips Jesus’ favorite snack? Even if they weren’t, they’ll go great with your Friday fish.
Yesterday, these little nectarines showed up at the market. Dyed (branded? scalded? waxed? greased up with dirty stinking chemicals?) with Chinese characters, they read tall (高), shining (照), a thing (事) and happiness (喜).
“No, no, no,” said Echo, a good friend. “You’ve bought the wrong ones, and got them in the wrong order. They should read ‘吉星高照,’ which means ‘good luck.’ It’s an idiom.” (The ones I ended up with, ordered as below, read something like “tall photograph of a happy thing.”)
“Or maybe they’re trying to say ‘喜事高照,'” she mused. “It’s not so correct but it’d still make sense.”
I came to Tokyo for three pilgrimages. The first, a trip to Miyazaki’s Ghibli Museum, left my cheeks wet with tears. The second, lunch at a Miracle Fruit Cafe, had me giggling aloud, the juice from an inedible umeboshi plum running down my chin. And the third? It was to be dinner at an izakaya tavern, waited on by monkeys.
Monkeys. Not guys in monkey suits, or hirsute fellows, but real, honest-to-xxx monkeys. This was probably a PETA nightmare, but monkeys are totally awesome!!!
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But instead of being in “North Tokyo,” which I’d heard from the Internet rumors, it was far north of Tokyo. The “short train ride” turned out to be two hours from Shinjuku. And from there, another two hours of walking through ramshackle neighborhoods, fields, along highways. I carried a useless map, and asked directions every ten blocks, miming a monkey carrying a tray of sake to help explain what I was searching for. Ominous clouds hovered overhead, threatening rain, but I kept pushing on.