A Rose By Any Other Name

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” False.

I stumbled upon a list of Nanjing’s restaurants and absolutely had to share my favorites with the world. Anyone who is looking for a job opportunity should move to China and charge businesses to help with English translations and name selections. They need all the help they can get.

I introduce Nanjing’s finest eateries:

Nine-Foot Goose Intestine Hot Pot Restaurant

Funny Smell Stew Pot

Odd Pot Of Delicious

Spicy Brown

Touch The Wrong Door When The Lights

Fish Theme Fish Cool Shuttle Edge Fashion Hot Pot

Village Of Onion

Plastic Wang Pin Steak

His Aging Mother Uncle

Duck Duck Blood Fans

Happy Chickens In The Americas

Cardiac Restaurants

Fragrant Thick Restaurant

Long Mei Large Intestines Of Fish Restaurant

Fuel Rice Cooking Oil And Salt Daily Necessities

A Bottle Of Steak

Valley Fool Hotpot

New East Old Goose Bone Soup

Fat Fish Head

Drunken Fish Head Of Chongqing Hot Pot

Christina Aguilera

Some People In Brazil Barbecue

The Head Stall

Dumplings Stuffed With Wool

Real Belly Pot Chicken

Frog Rana Era Called Griddle

Artic Wolf

Sloppy Restaurant

Mmmmmm…. that really spurred my appetite. Excuse me while I go feast on some 9′ goose intestines and fish blood. Maybe they will throw in a bottled steak.

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Mo

Meet Mo, formally Mustachio. You can call him whatever you like as long as his name does his stellar stash justice.

 

Chris is offended that I’m claiming him as our first born and says it’s a disgrace to our “real” children, but I’m trying to reassure him that little Mo is preparing me for motherhood. He should embrace my obsessive tendencies towards this little ball of fuzz. After all, he bought him for me, and who could resist that much cuteness?

So the story goes as such… Chris and Britton were walking home from school through the alleys where all the legit Chinese action is: illegal DVDs and naaaasty “restaurants” (literally holes in the wall) where the chefs sit out front skinning pig faces. It’s pretty authentic if your’e into that kind of thing. Apparently on occasion you might see a guy with stacks of bunny cages on the back of his bike.

Well, during this stroll home, Britton and Chris saw Mr. Bunny Abuser and took interest in his rabbits. Most of his bunnies are sold to people who take them home and keeeeet (picture me dragging a finger across my throat). However, he had two little guys that he said were too tiny to eat (He claims their dwarf rabbits, but we’ll see. These guys aren’t exactly known for their honesty). Anyhow, Chris was naturally interested and somehow convinced level-headed Britton to get on board. Next thing I know, Chris is at the door with an armful of groceries and a tiny, malnourished, rabbit in a depressingly small cage.

Poor Mo was a traumatized wreck. We gingerly pulled him from his cage and set him on the floor with a carrot in front of his face. He didn’t move for hours. Didn’t blink, didn’t wiggle his nose… nothing. It was like trying to feed a stuffed animal, and I laughed a lot out of desperation. Eventually, his ear twitched. We rejoiced! Then he nibbled on a carrot and tried to take a step, but collapsed. His poor legs were under-developed from spending his life in a cage, so we, like proud parents, got to watch our bunny learn how to take his first steps, and then his first hops. Chris and I were hopelessly pathetic. Chris will deny this, but we laid on the bed beaming at Mo, making remarks every 30 seconds about how cute is little ears were and how impressed we were about this or that.

Now Mo bounces around the apartment and has an over eating disorder. He is trying to make up for lost meals I guess, but he is still a little skeleton beneath the fuzz. And with the eating comes the pooping. He is a machine–he poops while he eats. It’s quite incredible. 170 poops in 24 hours!!! Is that healthy?! I think he has problems (and apparently so do I for counting). But we love him and smother him regardless–our little Mustachio.

Adventurers vs. Homebodies

The Adventurers came out last weekend despite the start of the Autumn Festival and multiple warnings to avoid traveling. The holiday is fuel for one of the largest human migrations in the world. Everyone jumps on a plane, train, or bus and goes home. It’s a crowd you don’t want to swim upstream against—it’s big and eager to eat moon cakes. It’s the type of crowd that makes you feel the teeniest tiniest bit grateful for the One Child Policy.

We decided to keep our travels short and go somewhere low key in an effort to avoid the masses. Our location of choice was Tongli—the Venice of China—a 1,000 year-old town that is built around a network of old canals connected by footbridges.

The beauty of traveling is in being swallowed by a new place and seeing its obscure niches and quirks. I love when you can walk down a stone street that has been smoothed by centuries of people living their lives; when you can wander long rambling alleys with their unique vignettes around every turn; when the windows and doors of homes are open, exposing a much more raw lifestyle. I want to see something old authentic and know that it’s the last time I’ll ever see it, because even if I tried, I would never be able to find the same spot twice. I feel relief in experiencing the thousand year-old buildings and lifestyle before it’s gone. And that’s exactly what Tongli did for us—it opened itself up and invited us to look around.

We sent our future selves post cards (to be mailed in 3 years).

Prayer cards hung in the courtyard of the Pearl Tower.

Going Green–minimal CO2 emissions.