Visiting the Far East in China and Japan
With Susan Lauber
NOT, being small, and portable, and of course cute, likes to hitch along with travelers to exotic lands. Especially when the journey takes several hours by plane, much less by wing (and small ones at that). So our ducky friend quacked with glee when Susan told him she was heading for China and Japan. NOT had to brush up on his Mandarin a bit since his last trip had only taken him to Hong Kong and south China.
While NOT was afraid of being made into Peaking Duck (a cheap shot, but you had to expect it here), he was relaxed a bit when he heard about Beijing. That's a whole different area, he mused. NOT is confused easily.
He was especially thrown off when he got to visit the Summer Palace. "But I thought it was Autumn" he quacked in confusion. Needless to say, his stupidity did not endear him to his hosts. In fact, they decided to see how brave he was, and let him hang out with the lions along one of the bridges for a while.
Unfortunately, the language barrier kept them from having any meaningful conversation. But it also kept him from being eaten, which was quite the relief for NOT.
While on his trips with David, he saw many interesting sights. He saw Stonehenge(s), Twine and other large objects. But he only saw good walls. Now in China, he could see a GREAT Wall!
Unfortunately, his guides left something to be desired. Perhaps his American accented quack left stony faced.
Mallard - Mandarin - Mandarin - Mallard
Over the sea in Tokyo, he kept a wide eye out for monsters. "Good thing I'm wearing my Godzilla repellant that the old man sold me at the airport," thought NOT. He did not see any large creatures, but he did see a number of very large men, usually sitting also in stony silence (do you see a theme in this trip?)
He did get to inhale the incense at Kaminarimon in Tokyo, hoping for good luck.
And where better to find good luck, but to go shopping for electronics. NOT hoped to become the next Pokemon, but unfortunately, they were not having any tryouts. The best he could find was a Japanese version of R2-D2 on the sidewalk.
All this shopping made NOT tired - dog tired. So he decided to stop and take a rest under the 'Dog that always waits for its master.' Unfortunately, the master didn't seem fit to leave a water bowl for the dog while he waits, NOT noted sourly. There was lots of room under the dog at least.
Nearby, NOT knocked on the intricately carved decorated doorway of a local shrine. Unfortunately, no men in red fezs and small cars came to answer. "What a cheap trip," NOT complained, "I'm going home!"
Photos courtesy of Susan Lauber
Last Updated March 2001