If I repeat a story, please excuse me.
Ok so first we had a chicken. Now we've had an encounter with a camel. Let me back up. We are getting socialized in our "hood". We're making lots of friends from all over the world. It seems that when you are in an expat community, you jump in with both feet and meet people. I love that!! That doesn't happen when you move in the States. One of the mommies I've met is the Daisy leader for Lauren's girl scout troop. Her name is Nazh, which from her personality must mean total ball of energy. She is from Mexico City, but has lived in Shanghi for 5 yrs. She organized an activity for the girls to go pet, brush and give treats to cats in an animal shelter. We met Sat. morning with our drivers in Puxi(the west side of town) and drove 45 min to the outskirts of Shanghai. Now driving in Shanghai is scary enough, but when your trying to caravan with 4 silver buick minivans it gets really crazy. Anyway, We got off the main road, passed a military base with about 12 huge satellite dishes (hmm I should've stopped and asked why my blog isn't working), and traveled on a winding road with a couple of people selling veggies along the side of the road.
Now, the cat shelter was started by Mr. Huang. He had a cat, and noticed one day someone abandoning their cat. He, being a good samaritan, took that cat in. After rescuing 200 cats, he was evicted from his house. (wonder why?). He took his 200 cats to a wear house where they have been checked out by a vet and are to spend the rest of their days. Any other cat that happens to come his way can live there too. None of these cats are adoptable and some are not even socialized. Some are missing tails or have sores on their back legs, or are missing part of an ear, or an eye, and were just kinda scary in general. And I like cats. It was also explained to us that these cats cannot be adopted because of their compromised immune systems. So when Nazh said to me "these cats look so healthy" I was speechless. Those of you who know me well know that doesn't happen often.
After spending an hour with the the cats, we climbed back into our buick minivans. On the way out we ran into a little problem. Those few people selling veggies turned into a full fledge market place and pretty much shut down the street. It was hair raising getting thru there. I can't even explain what a tight fit it was. People on motor scooters would just stop and park right in front of our van and do their shopping. If I could've opened my door, I might have joined them. There were all parts of all kinds of animals to purchase. Sheep legs, head, tongue, intestines, and I'm guessing here, testicles (no thanks). Beef cut to order, outside without refrigeration (I'll pass). Pens of chickens and ducks next to a very big knife and butcher block (which I'm afraid is what happened to my yard chicken since I haven't seen her in a while). And so many fruits and veggies. Some I've never seen before. But best of all, looking right at Lauren and giving her window a big lick, was………a camel. Big blond, very furry camel. I was so amazed I don't even know if it had one or two humps. It had long, long dreadlocks like coat. It was huge. It also had a blanket on its back indicating it was used for transportation and not to be turned into different cuts of meat. I hope so, cause he looked like he might be able to take whoever was going to eat him.
After spending 45 min just trying to squeeze a minivan thru the curvy road, we were out and able to drive. Even my driver, when we got out of there said, in perfectly good english "oh my god".
It's never dull!