Twenty-one days left in Shanghai and counting. And what am I doing? Procrastinating, that's what. A scant five weeks ago, I unpacked the entire house when our shipment finally arrived from its three-month oceanbound journey spanning Seattle to Shanghai. I just can't even stand the Sisyphean task of boxing everything back up. No no no no no nooooooooo.
Good thing then that my college friend, Shelli, called this morning and asked if I wanted to go to Yuyuan Garden to shop for my daughter's birthday party favors. As my friends know, I am not much of a shopper. I don't care for the butt brush--you know, when all the merchandise is stuffed so close together, you can't move without having your tush brush against something. Well, welcome to shopping in Shanghai.
However. Shopping or packing. You can guess which was the lesser evil. Let the butt brush begin.
My daughter chose a PANDA PAJAMA party as her birthday festivity theme. No problem, I thought. Uh-huh. Now, China is The Land of the Panda, right? So tell me why it is virtually impossible to find a single panda anything. Frogs, yes. Rabbits, yes. Tigers, yes. Strange, unidentifiable creatures, oh YES. But pandas?
(Side note: in China, what you see above are PLUSH animals. STUFFED animals are taxidermical specimens.)
For an hour, I trolled the enormous market for panda trinkets, scouring stall after stall. At last: panda stickers. And then nirvana for the paper freak that I am: a stall that sold only giftwrap and paper bags. Including one with BAMBOO on it. Perhaps not a panda, but do we all agree that panda food is good enough?
Today I am thankful for girlfriends who know how to divert me and force me out of my big, must-be-packed-soon house...even if it is with shopping.