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Apples vs Oranges

October 24, 2010 by admin

For the second time now a cinnamon cocker spaniel, always off leash, has tangled with my dogs.  First time he went after Bernie, but today I only had Niu Niu and as soon as the dog saw us he ran after her but I was able to grab her in time.  As the dog jumped on me to get at her, I shoved it away with my leg, the dogs “Dad” never does anything but hold a sheepish grin on his face.   This time there were many people watching so in my best and rudest Mandarin I told him that next time this happens it will be HIM I kick.  He then proceeded to put his leash on his dog where I ended the conversation with “xie, xie, jerkoff!  It’s not uncommon to see Shanghainese in a loud, heated conversation but a tall, crazy-eyed American girl threatening to kick a Chinese man’s ass over his dog’s behavior just isn’t something you see here everyday.   The look of embarrassment on his face should keep the dog leashed for a while but really, who knows.  And you know, these kinds of things happen everywhere, but I do have to mention that the Chinese dogs in general are very behaved and well socialized. But it got me thinking about the differences of living in Shanghai vs. the US and how you can take a city and build a bunch of skyscrapers, a subway, contemporary museum throw in a Starbucks, Cartier, Hermes, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Apple Store and it still ain’t New York…or Paris…or Istanbul.  THIS IS CHINA and so it should be and these cities really shouldn’t be compared.  Yes, people are people, but our cultures, food, art, history, government, etc make us different and that is what makes this world interesting, a wonderful place to explore and where there’s always something new to be learned.  Anyhoo, the bright side of this man/dog confrontation is that I realized my Mandarin is better than I thought!

Ken and I bought some books recently and he started in on Ted Kerasote’s, Merle’s Door, Lessons from a freethinking dog, and I grabbed David Sideris’ newest, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: a modest bestiary.  My book was a super-fast read (and probably not for everyone) and Ken kept telling me how great his book was and how I was going to love it so I started sneaking it.  He finally just said, “you take it and give it back to me when you’re done”.   Well, I just finished it (as well as a box of tissues mind you) and it was an amazing read.  While there’s informative and interesting material on dogs and such, it’s so much more than that.  The author was open and honest about his life, personal details and relationships, I just can’t say enough about this book, it was lovely.

Here’s a picture of Lu Lu, a mini-pin, who lives with her dad in Zhamadian China and has been making the internet rounds because of her ability to walk like a real lady which she apparently started all on her own.  However that teddy bear she’s carrying is a joke, a lady like that needs a nice Chanel bag on her arm.

(photo by Rex Features)

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