Friday, January 20, 2006

Dinner and Massage

I don’t know what is meant by the expression, “it’s a dog’s life,” but I know my life is pretty wonderful. Tonight, our human friend, Joe, treated many of the adult Wednesday night English Corner crowd to dinner and a trip to the foot massage parlor. Both places are located in our neighborhood. The occasion? Joe, a high school English teacher, received a 32,400 yuan ($4,050) bonus because his students performed very well on their college entrance examinations last year. He invited us all out to dinner at a very nice, very famous restaurant in our neighborhood. It is three floors of private dining rooms and game rooms. Beautiful hostesses wearing red brocaded Chinese style dresses greeted us as we entered the restaurant and crossed the bridge over a tiny stream. Two of Joe’s former students, two of his colleagues, Claude, Jerry, Lady, and two other American teachers joined me at the dinner party. I was so hungry and anxious for meat that I left our dining room and went into other dining rooms. I got scolded because Lady said I was begging. I was simply visiting, waiting for them to drop meat on the floor, and looking adorable. I thought our dinner would never come. After the blessing, Lady gave me my own plate. I had breaded chicken cutlets, fried pork, ham and broad beans, potatoes, and sliced beef. When Lady stopped feeding me, I just went over to the other side of the table and looked up at Joe. I can always count on him to give me the good stuff! Lady ate spicy tofu, something like hash brown potatoes, little cabbages, egg and tomatoes, and other favorites. Last, we had meat-filled steamed buns, called bao zi’s. The humans did lots of toasting as is the custom. All of Lady’s Chinese friends were celebrating that we get to stay in China at least another year. Lady received her invitation to teach for the local university. We will also continue traveling to the countryside to different schools to train teachers and teach students. After Chinese New Year, we will begin going again. They also toasted Joe for hosting us. This is the last time we will see our friends for awhile because most are headed to their hometowns to be with family for the holidays.
After the delicious dinner, I took off before Lady could get my harness back on me. Just thought I’d check out the other dinner rooms, but Lady caught me eating out of the trash, and I got scolded again. I'm not worried. All I have to do is kiss her and she'll forget. I ate so much that Lady thought I would pop anyway, and I was still rooting through the leftovers. I got caught!
It was so chilly out that Lady and I rode the short distance to the foot massage parlor. I love going to the foot massage parlor. It is right near our gate. Whenever I walk Lady by the place, I climb the steps wanting to go in! They all know me and love me there, as we often chat with them when we walk by. Lady takes her visiting friends there, as well.
Only six of us went for a massage. I chose my big stuffed chair first, right by the heater! Lady made me get up for Jerry. Usually, I run around and play in the private room for awhile. But I was just too full. I was ready for my massage. The girls come in bringing steaming wooden tubs of herbal water. Lady sits on a bench with her feet in the hot water while Gwen, the masseuse, massages her head, neck, and back. I wait on the big chair. Then Lady swings around to sit in the big chair while Gwen massages her arms. I snuggle up beside Lady and nudge her hand to get started with my massage. I don’t like to get my feet wet, and I don’t like my paws rubbed. But oh how I love to be scratched just about everywhere! I get Lady to keep it up the whole time the girl is working on Lady’s feet. Sometimes we also watch TV, but mostly, Lady visits with her friends, and I just enjoy being scratched for more than an hour.
What a wonderful night! We said our thank-yous and good-byes before walking home. I need a little exercise after the huge dinner I ate! After all, I am just a little dog, so I can get a little bigger!

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