Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The last posting was sabotaged for some reason, this is
 full story. 

Everyone has a dog in the cao chang di village, and there are also a handful that seem to run wild. Although the wild ones probably aren't strays because the chinese gov't requires dog owners to register their pet with the local police. Most of the dogs here are muts, or not very pure purebreds. The villagers favor the pekingnese, german shepherds, and few random toy breads. They're also pretty lax when it comes to picking up after one's pet. But also wonder if I am mistaking dog droppings for babies-wearing-ass-less-chaps droppings. 

Yesterday Ted and Andy and I ventured to the pet market id downtown beijing. It was insane. You could find almost anything there. Ted came home with a tiny turtle -not sure of the species, and I picked up a green tree frog for 3 RMB (about 50 cents). The pet market is similar to the way an antique mall is set up, a giant space filled with smaller rooms housing individual merchants. There is also an outdoor section that winds it's way through some other outbuildings. Some of the stand out pets for sale were: chipmunks, squirrels, giant frogs, giant crickets (very chinese), and stingrays. 
Earlier that morning I had gone to the flower market and picked up a couple terrariums and was able to make a nice home for the frog. I'm going to smuggle the frog on the plane when I leave. If it stays healthy, and survives the plane ride it should live for a long time. I tried to get the smallest one out of the lot (about 1-1/4 inches). There were others that were at least three inches long, so I think this species can grow to be very big. This little guy even chirps at night. 

Ted's turtle is doing well, we've been feeding it meal worms, and it seems to think they're pretty good. I think ted is going to smuggle his turtle on the plane too. 

Andy almost bought one of the only puppies we saw at the market, this white fluffy thing. They were asking 100 RMB (about $14.00) It seemed healthy and happy, but it is difficult to register the dog and ship it back to the states. One of our guide books explains how to do it, but is was enough of an obstacle to thwart the sale. 

I have plans to bring a big cricket back to the states. Our professors have brought them through security without a problem (meaning they haven't been caught). At the pet market there are elaborate accessories for them, like hand-carved wooden cages and hollowed gourd containers to house them. Keeping crickets is deeply rooted in chinese culture, which is why there is such an array of products made to keep them. The big crickets are green, and about 2-1/2 inches long with fat abdomens. They live for three to nine months, and chirp loudly and frequently.

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