Qianling said “In 2019 I was travelling across the UK on a road trip, just after graduating, when I spotted Macaron in a shop near a petrol station in the Peak District. He’s a Jellycat tiger. I bought him as a present for my Mum, because her Zodiac animal is a tiger, and she loves soft toys. But after travelling with him for a month, I decided that I couldn’t be parted from him, so I decided not to give him to my mum after all.
Since that first day we have been almost inseparable. In the last two years, he has visited the UK, Turkey, China, and Japan with me. Normally I don’t have any toys because they take up space and I move a lot. I have broken up with partners twice in the past two years, and I also keep changing the country I live in. It has not been easy to make friends in the new environments, but whenever I get home and hug Macaron, I feel that everything is ok again.
Macaron is the first toy that I have ever loved and cared about so much. He is the biggest toy I have ever had, and he is just so white and soft. I can’t stop touching him, because he feels so soft and warm. I am still surprised that I have developed such a strong attachment to him. I think that’s because no matter how the people around me change or leave, Macaron is always there and he always loves me.
I look after Macaron very, very carefully. I try not to leave him alone, because I am afraid that he might get dirty or damaged. We have only been apart for one week, when I went to Shanghai. Normally during travel, I put him in a huge bag to carry separately. But despite my loving care, because I hug him to sleep every day, his waist and limbs have become slimmer and his hair is not as soft as before, so I sent him to the toy hospital for some expert attention. I will take care of Macaron till I die, then I might ask for him to be burnt with me if I can’t find people who can take care of him as well as I do.
We have plenty of time to make memories together. My favourite memory so far is of New Year’s Eve 2020. I put Macaron in my backpack at midnight, and I skated to a temple nearby in Tokyo. We just stood together in the temple listening to the 108 bells, watching people burning papers in the fire to celebrate the new year.