The Saga of Wilma and Betty (and Pebbles, Bam Bam and Dino too)

The Sad Saga of Wilma and Betty

The Sad Saga of Wilma and Betty

What a week this was. Last Sunday we went down to Moon River and bought some water born plants, some small white pebbles and a couple of goldfish to add to the homey ambiance of our apartment. We have a tall vase so it was a perfect home. Many people in China have the same arrangement. We brought them home and got them all settled in and they seemed very content. We named them Wilma and Betty. Jan Therrien told us that all they need to live is the plant that grows in the water, so we didn’t even feel we needed food, or that we would have to worry about them when we go away. The perfect pets. Well that lasted for about 24 hours. I came home from school and they were just like the Norwegian Blue Parrot – they were no more, they were late goldfish, they had gone to meet their maker, met their demise, they were ex-goldfish, dead, pushing up daisies, they weren’t kippin’, nor pining for the fjords. (Monty Python, 1969). We don’t know if it was a lack of food (24 hours?), the tap water or lack of aeration. In talking to Mr. Zhao and David they said that you needed to let the water from the tap sit for a day or so after if comes out of the tap. Ah, so.

So on Wednesday I go back down to Moon River and buy the complete set – bowl, 3 fish, water, rocks, plant – the whole shootin’ match. I also buy food and have a student translate the directions on how much/often to feed them. 24 hours later – all three still alive and swimming, so we name them Pebbles, Bam Bam and Dino in honour of their mothers. What a great feeling to know that if you do something right, you get the correct result. Friday afternoon comes – bye bye Pebbles and Bam Bam.  Pebbles was floating on the surface and Bab Bam was trapped in the plant, but not breathing, despite my best effort at the recommended new CAB (chest compression, airway, breathing) version of CPR as opposed to the old ABC version (2010, International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation). Alas all we had left was Dino.

Now, many of you know that we have a plethora of canals and waterways both in Jiaxing in general and in our complex as well. Thus, on Saturday on our way to Shanghai, we took Dino down and freed him to join his many cousins and friends in the canal. One of three things likely happened to him:

  1. He died immediately of shock from the change in water temperature.
  2. The cat just along the way got him just after we left and before he could get out from the edge.
  3. He met his cousins and is now feeling great.

Being the positive optimist I am (not redundant, just reinforcing the concept),  I’m going with number 3, despite Terry’s skeptical attitude.

Shanghai here we come. A couple I have met through Ken are moving to China this summer to open a wine importing business so we arranged to meet them for dinner – who doesn’t want to get to know people as nice as Shelley and Rob (and their two very tired sleepy little guys Matthew and Zander. The two of them slept on their chairs right through dinner they were still so jet lagged.) We went to Lost Heaven – our ex-favourite restaurant in Shanghai. It was without a doubt the worst meal we have had there. They didn’t have 3 of the items Terry chose, the curry dish came with almost no sauce, the beef tenderloin wasn’t, the sea bass smelled similar to stinky tofu (you don’t want to know), BUT the two wines Rob chose were fabulous. Thank goodness for that.

Must also give Rob and Shelley credit for perseverance. I gave them the address for the restaurant – sadly, it was to the wrong address. Their taxi dropped them “at the door”, according to him, but they had to pack their two boys about three blocks to the actual restaurant – only to find that it was “Coconut Paradise” at 38 Fumin Road, instead of “Lost Heaven” at 38 Gaoyang Road. Now they are sister restaurants, but come on Geoff, get it right! I’m sure their gracious smiles were belying their real thoughts as they came upstairs. Again you two, my apologies.

I bought a new bus pass last week (April 19th) after losing my previous one in a taxi. Maybe it’s time to get the spring cards out, what do you think Jiaxing?

Happy Winter Travelling

Happy Winter Travelling

We did a lot of walking on Saturday (in the rain) and Sunday (in the sun). Went to the knock off mall where I bought a pair of bamboo briefs (I’m missing our floor). They are so comfortable, I went back on bought 5 more pair – including a purple pair, which, according to the Aussie who was also buying some, is the international gay colour. (He bought red and black). We also went so far out on a limb that it is a twig and bought me a  couple of pairs of glasses. They are wood frames and very cool.  For the two pair with some heavy duty lenses in them because it is a strong prescription, we paid 1700 RMB or $284.00 – that’s $142.00 each. I’ll include some photos in the next blog as we get them this week. If any of you want to live a little on the edge let us know. We can send you some photos of frames, take your prescription in and get them made and bring them home in July. They do a really good job – Terry has had 2 pairs of prescription sun glasses, 1 pair of glasses and I have had a pair of glasses made and bought a pair of Chinese Ray Bans and we are very happy with everything there – and we are getting great prices because they know us so well now. (Mary, FYI we are much happier here than at the other one.)

On our way back I saw this sign. Now I know what it really means but I thought that with the 16000 pigs in the river and the bird flu going around, maybe the Chinese are making a new kind of protein food.  Just sayin…



8 thoughts on “The Saga of Wilma and Betty (and Pebbles, Bam Bam and Dino too)

  1. Rob Bevis

    Dear Terry and Geoff,

    We had a great time at Lost Heaven. Actually quite enjoyed the food so we will go back to try it on a good night. I guess we should wait until the “Chicken Scare” is over. Actually one of the most amazing parts of the weekend was running into you walking down West Nanjing Road. So much for a 23 Million person city — “Hey, Geoff and Terry arrived in town dear — there they are on the other side of the street.” Kind of feels like small prairie town stuff, eh?

    Great to see you. Look forward to connecting again when we are back this summer.

    We are already thinking about which restaurant to go to and which one we will give you the address for 😉

    Cheers – Rob and Shelley

  2. Peter Therrien

    Fish, fish, fish!! My fish advice was intended for outside, large fish tubs, by the way!! Where there are an abundance of bugs to eat, algae, etc. Indoor bowls:
    1) betas, or guppies live better in a small space
    2) water- not certain of the quality in china, is it chlorinated? If not, tap water is okay, but needs to be room temperature. Can buy a jug of regular- not mineral water…ask what they use in the fish store 🙂 or, you need dechlorinator drops.
    3) vase- scrubbed with water and salt when new only. No soap!
    4) these guys will need food. Not much but a pinch or so each day!
    5) goldfish are great but grow quickly and will soon need space.
    6) now go forth and buy new fish!!

  3. Kelly Spencer

    Aw! Poor Flintstones!!! I had been thinking of a goldfish for my classroom, but… I think I better not risk it for now. Whew! Glad I read this blog post first. :-). I don’t know if some of my little Nemo obsessed kiddies could deal with the trauma.

  4. Pingback: Signs of Summer | The Jiaxing Express

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