“Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
I received a plant for my birthday. It came in a Hello Kitty-look-a-like pot with instruction written in Mandarin. I had no clue what to do with it. I knew it was a plant because there was a picture on the box of grass growing from its pot/head (pothead ha..ha..).
I kept this plant in the box for two months before I took it to work today. If I need to take care of a living thing, I need to see it often enough, and I spend more time on my office desk than my bed.
I asked a Mandarin speaking colleague help to read the instruction for me. She said in order to grow the plant (so it’s a plant! I was right after all) I have to soak the bottom of it (there is a hole there) in water for half hour every week.
Eh.. Let the Kitty swim for a half hour a week? I can do that. So I did. I took a bowl from office pantry. I don’t know whose; hopefully it’s someone I don’t like and soak its’ hole out.
The bald Kitty is now sitting happily in my cubicle beside the pink Maneki Neko Yin gave me for my birthday last year.
Being alone in the pantry while waiting for the Kitty to soak the water reminded me of the unusual things I have petted in the past, like:
Bul Bul The Tamagotchi
I played Tamagotchi! I must have been cool since young.
Tamagotchi is a handheld digital pet on a key chain, originated from Japan like any other robots. The “pet” goes through several stages of growth from egg to adult before eventually dies. We were supposed to take care of it like a real pet by clicking the button that shows food, shower or book.
When Tamagotchi fever hit our class I begged my parents to get me one. They didn’t get it, why would they buy me a miniature Tetris when the original size cost lesser? But finally they caved. I got mine in red color.
I hatched my first Tamago (egg), and it was a chick. A baby chick. I named her Bul Bul. I loved her so much until I had developed a Tamagotchi effect. I remember sitting in my classroom (my mama didn’t allow me to bring Bul Bul to school) and replaying my schedule with Bul Bul later which included, feeding her carrots, bath, play, play and some disciplinary act. Of course, eventually Bul Bul died (of old age after ten days or sooner after being killed by her own poop smell) and became a ghost, so I hatched another egg and named her Bul Bul again. It became an endless cycle. I was addicted. It was my Internet.
Ah, potty training a pixelated screen. Good times..
I learned after that in the newer version you could marry your pets and have small egg babies and the most recent ones came in color. Good for them. For the 12 year old me the first version, Tamago v. 01, already the best as it was.
If you are a millennium baby, check out Hatchi – A retro virtual pet the iPhone app, to get the feeling of the original Tamagotchi.
One day, a
cool kid brought the Mexican Jumping Bean to school. He tried to convince us that the beans were alive (apparently it really was). He kept it in a transparent container, and there were a few of them. I was allowed to play with it for a while, well I had to bully him first, but whatever.
At first I was impressed, but it lasted only for a short time. These beans they could jump, but that’s that. I remembered thinking it would be neat if they could reproduce and have baby beans. I blame it on our sex education seminar which was held on the same week, also on the Tamagotchi.
Now to think about it, was it really Mexican jumping bean?? Did it travel all the way to South East Asia?? And even more how did it fall into my friend’s hand? I am not sure. I tried to Google Jumping Beans Indonesia, but the result was about some other weird things a larva could do, ngeh..
It’s the latest trend here. It’s like having a micro sea in a jar. It is called EcoSphere. It comes in many size and design. It has coral, sand, algae, and other aqua thingy you can choose to put in. What interesting is that the closed ecological systems are self-sustaining over a period of years. It just needs a little of light and to be left at room temperature.
Self sustaining plant? Oh yes, I was interested! Then the seller told me that the living things inside could grow. “You mean like a pet?” — I like pets. I like crazy pets. I paid ten bucks and happily named the two green blobs flakes Niwwi and Kamy, after my best friend and her love story. Kamy was the chubby one.
Just before we stepped out of the store the same guy gave me an instruction; in order for it to grow, I had to stroke it in between my fingers, once a week for a few minutes, when I replaced the water from the jar.
Change the water, checked; but I had such hard time to stroke that green blob thingy which I named after other people’s love life. It was relaxing to look at but ewww to touch.
I offered Hulk two bucks a month to help me with it. “Nope”, he said. Ugh! So much for JJ Rousseau’s words! I only changed the water every now and then but never ever stroked it. After a year or so Niwwi and Kamy grew ugly with dandruff looking flakes growing on them. Eek. I had to throw them away and learned a lesson that day about the power of a touch on another living being.
A school of micro prawns, called Opae‘ Ula in Hawaiian, kept as pets in a water bottle. Technically, it is not my pet (yet), but I have been eyeing it. I plan to bring it as a house warming gift when Hulk moves into his new place by the end of this month. This will be a real progress from whatever I have been petting before including the current Kitty plant.
I plan to share the duty with Hulk. I will be talking to and feeding them, and Hulk will be the one who change the water.
The only downside I can think of is the longevity of these shrimps; it may live for more than a decade. Do I want this kind of commitment with a bunch of seafood?
Do you have an unusual pet/plant? Maybe you want to think about having one? I guarantee it will bring you joy, even if it just jump around all day.
I will give an update on my Kitty plant soon, meanwhile do you have any suggestion for shrimp names? What do you think of Patrick Star for the fattest one?