I’ve been searching for a travel companion for years. Someone who’s adventurous, thrives in different social circles, and enjoys night life as much as I do. Preferably male. Handsome. Low maintenance and doesn’t complain much. Paleo. Enjoys cuddling as much as I do. I have found him.
…we’re working on the cuddling part…
I made the decision to get a hedgehog nearly a week after I decided to move to China. Since I plan to stay in China (or abroad in Asia somewhere), I knew that I was prepared to make the investment of my time, energy, and love.
I originally tried to find my hedgehog amongst all the animals being sold in the night markets, but my efforts proved to be futile. In retrospect, I think this was for the best. Most, if not all, of the animals purchased on the side of the street are often sick and dying. It’s heart breaking.
For that reason, I had my Chinese tutor help me find a hedgehog breeder on some seedy Chinese website.
I was a bit skeptical at first as well, but then my tutor called the breeder to confirm that I would be receiving a live baby hedgehog and not a stuffed animal and this put me at ease. Then we both hopped into a cab and headed over to some stranger’s house that I’ve never been to before. It was just as exciting as it sounds.
Fortunately, the breeder was some sweet 19 year-old Chinese girl-and not a serial killer-so I handed over my cash for my baby hedgehog. He was pretty terrified as I carried him out in a styrofoam box and into my life: I have this affect on most men.
To be honest, I really just wanted someone to take care of. China’s been tough. Some days are harder than others to keep my head above water. But having someone depend on me for food, shelter, and love really motivates me to get my shit together to provide for someone other than myself. The unconditional love that you receive from animals is literally the best kind of China antibiotics on the market. It’s a constant reminder that you are special. To one soul, you are their entire world. And when you are just a speck on the radar in the grand scheme of things…
It’s nice to feel important.
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About Vanessa Elizabeth
Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.
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