Ribbitt, Ribbitt


You can imagine my and Mr. Understanding’s surprise when the doorbell rang at 2:15 a.m. We thought someone had died or they had come to kick us out of the country. The Cry Baby (Blackberry) rang 45 minutes earlier but Mr. U blew it off, since no number he knew popped up. So, throwing on clothes we ran downstairs to open the door. We could tell from the security monitor that a guard was waiting outside.

Parked at the curb of the house was a white van. Puzzled, we looked at the guard. Then a man stepped out of the shadows holding a box. Two more were sitting on the floor.

“Your pets,” he explained to us. “Your pets are here.”

Holy canoli. One would have thought we would have had some type of warning, but in retrospect, that was probably the phone call 45 minutes earlier.

I ran downstairs to the laundry room and cleared out the clothes rack and piles of dirty laundry. Once the animals were settled in the laundry room with some water and the floor/toilet had been cleaned up, Mr. U and I went back to bed. The smiles on the kids’ faces in the morning were bigger than seeing Santa and a loaded Christmas tree on Christmas morning. Things 2 & 3 accompanied me for an early morning run to the Carrefour for pet supplies since, sigh, all of our pet supplies are in an air freight shipment and no one had told us to prepare for animals arriving in the dead of night.

On the way home I spotted an amphibious creature about the size of my hand waddling across the road. Pointing at the ugly thing, I tried the animal noise method of communication. “Ribbitt, ribbit?” I asked the driver. Confused, he started speaking a long stream of Chinese.

“Wait, wait!” cried out Thing 3 from the backseat. “Is it this?” she said excitedly, pulling out her purse and clicking on a frog keychain I’d been given, and passed on to her, from one of my legal education classes over a year ago. The driver turned around and smiled, nodding his head. I laughed all the way home. Just how is it that Thing 3 happened to have a frog keychain too?

The only key chain I have left is a monkey but it makes no noise. Just waiting for that one to come in handy. What did I tell you about full circles?



Filed under Family, Life, Misunderstandings, Moving

9 responses to “Ribbitt, Ribbitt

  1. Sty-Ching

    Thing 3 has a regular menagerie of key chains – first the pig, then the frog. I think I know what to get her for Christmas this year. So happy you’ve been reunited with the pets.

  2. MCV

    Well China is definitely good for your blog if nothing else! These past posts have slayed me. Keep up the good writing.

  3. MCV

    I don’t think your comment counter is working . . .

  4. Raftbuddy

    Okay, this may support my theory (heretofore unshared) that the tadpoles in your toilet did not swim up from the sewer system, but were perhaps laid by a frog in your toilet when the lid was left up. Hmmmm……… invasion of the frogs!??

  5. Virginia

    I’m glad that you all made it safely. The frog incident reminds me of when I was new to Brazil and trying to talk to the butcher about some meat I wanted to purchase. We ended up flapping our arms and making animal noises at each other. It worked. It’s amazing what you’ll end up doing in a foreign country. Good luck and stay safe.

  6. KLab

    It is a veritable game of animal celebrity over there! Amazing! Super fun blogs. The key chains are priceless. Cannot wait to hear more and more. We bid farewell to princess AiLin and family just moments ago. They’re on their way to the land of formerly bound feet.

  7. Laura

    Give me your mailing address. I´m pretty sure I can find a Chilean avacado keychain for T3. You never know when you´re going to feel the need for some decent guacamole.

  8. gamamãe

    Great fun. Love reading about you all and life in China. My 6 year old keeps asking me when we can go to China, as all ” China things “are beautiful. We hung out in Boston with a friend who is chinese-american and later G said to me
    ” I wish I was born in China so I could have China eyes”. I know she would love the idea of needing a vast collection of keychains to communicate! Then again, she is not a fan of frogs…
    I think you show great respect and interest in the culture of the country you are living in, especially in asking questions about topics such as oppresion, in its many forms. I´m with Sweetpea( love her nickname). Muitas saudades amiga!

  9. expat princess

    Gamamae: When are you coming for a visit? I am nearly finished with the book, Splendid Slippers, and will produce a book report soon. I am a little concerned about how my boneca and namouradeira will play here in China. I am still pondering the whole subject of oppression and its’ various symbols. What we might find offensive and abhorrent those living in those cultures do not. Will get back to you on this subject later.

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