May 27, 2012

Put me in the zoo

I will go into the zoo.
I want to see it.
Yes, I do.1

I've visited the zoo several times and especially like the hippos, giraffes, monkeys, and koalas. I even tease the kids sometimes that they belong in the zoo with all their antics and screaming. Yesterday, we were all in the zoo.

I would like to live this way.
This is where I want to stay.

I want to stay sitting in peace on my picnic blanket eating desserts watching the boys run around and play catch. I would like to live this way. This is where I want to stay, outside as long as possible before the winter comes back to Harbin.

Oh! They would put me
in the zoo,
if they could see
what I can do.

I can do some pretty amazing things, like have a picnic in the park with 26 other foreigners. I eat strange foreign food: sandwiches, chips, salsa, noodle salad, brownies, oatmeal cookies, lemon bars, and McDonald's egg McMuffins. I play strange outdoor games: Frisbee and football. I even speak a strange language: English.

We like all
the things you do.
We like your spots,
we like you, too.

Chinese tourists like us alright. Yes they do! Led by a flag waving tour guide, the tourists pull out their cameras, large and small, and begin to photograph us and the things we do. M'Lynn always gets comments on her spots. What are those spots on your hands? And on your neck? They're freckles! The tourists gather closer and closer. We are touched, talked to, and fed candy for the kids by the passing group. I must admit we are a strange sight. Maybe even the first foreigners they've seen in the wild. It never gets old (well sometimes it does) and it's always surprising the amount of attention we get when we head outside with our kids. And this time in such a large group, the attention was unavoidable.

We do not want you
in the zoo.
Out you go!
Out! Out with you!

RAIN! IT'S RAINING! Time to go! Quick pack up the things and head out. This way or that way, whichever is the fastest way to a taxi ride home out of the zoo. One taxi rejection later, we are safely on our way out of the zoo with all our animals in tow.

But with all the things
that you can do,
the circus is
the place for you!

Safe and dry at home, the antics begin as the boys run around, scream, and beg to play "three more minutes" before nap time. When I'm not in the zoo outside, I live at the circus.

This is where I want to be.
The circus is
the place for me!

1 From the classic children's book by Robert Lopshire, Put Me in the Zoo.

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