Wednesday, June 13, 2007

There's nothing like a panda in The Hobbit, so...

We have arrived in Chengdu, the first of several cities on our grand tour of China. We are here, I believe, to see pandas.

I'm pretty excited about seeing pandas, possibly more excited than even the children. Why? Why would I, who lived in Washington, DC, for three years, where the zoo has *both* red and black pandas, be excited about more of them?

Because I have never seen pandas, that's why.

I mean, I have kind of seen black pandas in DC. They pretty much sit there. They are not exciting. I have also tried to see red pandas, but that never quite worked out. Let me explain:

At one point in our tumultuous ongoing relationship, Christine and I went to see the red pandas of the DC zoo, because they are the cutest, sweetest, funniest, most wonderfulest... you get the idea... creatures in the world. Or so I was told. Thus did we hike up to the zoo one hot summer day to see them.

We arrived at the red panda area. There were no pandas. We waited.

Several familes walked by. They did not stop, except to read the sign. "Red pandas" it said. "Elusive little buggers," said one father. He only slowed down.

We waited.

Finally a cute, adorable, wonderful little creature made a mad dash for the food in the middle of the panda area.

A panda! we cried.

A chipmunk, actually.

So I'm pretty excited about seeing pandas.

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