There’s a new member of the ToneDeaf family! Yes, it’s a baby…and no, it’s not a human. It’s Tutu, our little xiao tuzi (rabbit!) We visited Tangshan this past weekend to see our pregnant friend Ada, the school, and our Dongbei Mama Baba. Upon arriving I ate hot pot with old friends, and tried a new delicacy…duck blood. The blood comes in a bowl, and you scoop out little pieces and boil them in the hot pot. I was definitely disgusted by the bright red appearance and gelatinous consistency of the blood, but as my Harbiner friend insisted, it really wasn’t too bad. I have to give the Chinese credit for eating every part of the animal.

After Hot Pot we stopped at the Dongbei restaurant and found that they had a cute little white bunny. He had been dropped off by a young girl who wasn’t allowed to keep him (her?), and he wasn’t eating, drinking or moving too much. I immediately picked up the little cutie and he slept in my arms. My previous experience with rabbits is that they nip and always run away from humans, so I was surprised that this one was so calm and friendly towards people. To make a long story short, the suggestion of the Dongbei ren to take the rabbit, its friendly personality and David’s comment that he thought he may die if he stayed in the restaurant without proper care prompted our adoption! We took the little guy home on the bus where he slept on my chest for 2 straight hours, and he has been pooping on our floor and putting love in our hearts ever since!

Seriously though, he’s a really cool pet so far. I embarrassingly admit that I almost killed him during our first half hour home because I put him under the warm faucet to clean off his feces. Apparently rabbits can go into shock from water. I didn’t throw him in and he didn’t even resist, but he stopped moving for a little while before David rushed in and said, “You may have killed the rabbit…it says not to wash them.” I know, I know, my Dad is a veterinarian; I just figured he was like our ferrets…very, very wrong. Well, now that he’s alive and well I love him all the more. He often rests in between my arm and side, or nestles in between our legs. He actually follows us around the room a bit, and is quickly gaining weight and healing his hurt leg. David is like a proud new father, and has already bought him two new cages, two huge bags of food, a bunny leash and has researched how to appropriately train him (even potentially to swim!) He must sense that I’m writing about him, because he is sitting at the side of the bed looking at me.

OK, now he is on my lap sitting nicely as I type.

I never thought I would own a rabbit, but so far so good! I will take him to the vet shortly, and perhaps even to visit America one day…as rabbits are in the category of carry-on luggage, woo! How ironic yet perfect that we would acquire this little during the year of the rabbit. Despite the fact that we don’t know his gender (I think it’s a girl but I’m notorious for calling animals by their opposite) or age, it seems we will be hanging on to this guy well beyond our China experience.

So back to the story…

Ada is doing great at 6.5 months along in her pregnancy. We gave her a mini baby shower with gifts I brought back from the states. (Especially the $1 store baby bottle made in China, bought in the US and brought back to China…just because I thought it would be funny.) She’s so darn small I had to take a few pictures to even show she was pregnant, and of course she makes us miss Christine. She says if the baby is a girl, her English name will be Erin. Our Chinese friends are so darn nice!

David also met with his old student, Sunny. This little girl loved David so much that she shaved her head last semester after David shaved his in Hong Kong! They played games at an ice cream shop together, and she drew him a cute picture with umbrellas on it. There are also some funny photos of David welcoming people to the Dongbei restaurant with promises of “Hao Chi” and some really inappropriate pants on a little baby, ha. I saw one of my favorite students, Ben, who is twelve but still ran up to hug me and said, “Teacher, I am so happy to see you!” That made my day. We also managed to eat at our favorite Afanti restaurant, which has a new sign, doubled in size, and gained its own new member of the family, a baby boy!

I also have a million other stories from Beijing this Spring…but clearly the baby theme is dominating! For now, back to working planning all sorts of events with a bunny on my lap. O yea, and Tutu may have big ears, but he’s donedeaf too, so it’s all good.

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