A Rabbit Celebrates Her Year

Today is my birthday. In case you’re wondering, I’m a rabbit.

Year of the Rabbit

In Los Angeles, I would be sitting on the beach, walking to “ghetto” Vons with my neighbor or enjoying my favorite salad at Fritto Misto. Or perhaps I’d catch a movie with friends or take a stroll down Third Street Promenade and window shop.

In Herriman, this day mandated a trip to Target. I’d also bake cookies in my kitchen and play in the snow with my Circus. Birthday cakes, lemon cake, in particular, would be devoured with friends and family, and then I’d attend karate class to burn off the excess calories. On this day, The Hubs would take me to the bookstore. And in the evening I’d watch Jane Austen movies with friends, while eating chocolate, of course. Forgive the selfish indulgences, but this day only rolls around once a year.

But all of this is besides the point. Because what I really should consume, above all else, is noodles. Since we were young, my mom and dad prepared noodles for us on our birthdays. Not pizza, not cheeseburgers and fries, but noodles. Sometimes store purchased, but more often handmade “la mian,” or pulled noodles. In Chinese culture, long noodles represent longevity or a long life. (Whereas a french fry represents high cholesterol, I suppose…and maybe “freedom.”) Occasionally, the noodles would be stir-fried, but more often they were served in soup: chicken, beef, hot and sour, whatever floats your boat…or noodle.

Longevity in a bowl. Beef noodles in Puxi, Shanghai.

Beef noodles keeps this man happy.

Today, The Hubs, Pinky Stinky and I celebrated with beef noodles. One year older and wiser, too…that’s my prayer, anyway. And long life, of course. But wherever I am in the world, I am celebrating with you. In fact, by the time my American peeps read this, it will be my birthday again…I’d better eat some more noodles.

Birthday Girl

P.S. Don’t be jealous, but China is throwing a big birthday party for me. You are all invited. It’s quite a grand celebration. I’ll have videos and photos to prove it. You’ll see dragon dances, firecrackers, fireworks, and all sorts of food. Even the International schools participate with parties and programs. It’s a national holiday. After all, it is my year.

13 thoughts on “A Rabbit Celebrates Her Year

  1. So nice of China to celebrate your special day. The USA celebrates my birthday a little early every year, but I forgive them since I have officially made July “Birthday Month” :) So glad to see you are all doing well.

  2. Sounds like a great way to celebrate your birthday! The noodles really do look good! Hope you had a great day! I also was born in the year of the rabbit. So do some celebrating for me too!

  3. Hello Karen:

    Your mother shared your blog with me and I have really enjoyed reading it since then. It sounds like you have a very different but interesting life in Shanghai. I’ve always told my daughter “If I were your age again, I would go to China and stay there for a while because I want to witness the amazing change of this country.” Your kids will benefit from this valuable experience. I enjoy your writing – it is as beautiful as prose.

    Wish you and your family a very Happy Chinese New Year!

    Serena ??

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