Earth Day

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust …. Yesterday Thing 3 and I commended her turtle, Tiny Tina, to a muddy grave lined with camellia blossoms. Amen. I have never liked turtles, a Chinese auspicious symbol of longevity, ever since I received one on my 5th birthday from Elizabeth Gregorio as a present. My mother made me clean the turtle’s bowl regularly. Turtle output is copious. I think I did this for a few weeks and then said, “Enough”. I was directed to return the turtle to the giver; I can still remember the face of Elizabeth’s younger brother, Richard, as I handed him back the turtle in a brown paper bag as if it was a hot potato and said my carefully rehearsed speech: “I am sorry. I can no longer keep the turtle.” I then turned on the heels of my red leather Mary Janes and hoofed it back home as fast as I could. It’s really no wonder Elizabeth punched me in the arm at the bus stop for years. Then again, her parents were getting divorced.

So when Thing 3 asked to adopt a turtle from Thing 1’s friend, I was leery. “You have to clean the bowl,” I told her. I told the teen-aged giver of the turtle I was onto her and that she had to agree to the return of the turtle if Thing 3 was overwhelmed with, well, shall we say, turdle output. I had been making vague promises about turtles ever since we visited the Projeto Tamar sea turtle project in Brazil several years ago. Thing 3 was fascinated by Tiny Tina and cared for her lovingly (we know it was a her because girl turtles apparently have longer tails). For about a month. I had even gone so far as to negotiate on Tina’s behalf an attractive porcelain turtle bowl. So much for longevity. My suspicion is that the cat scared her to death. Arms and legs stuck straight out of her shell and eyes wide open all pointed to the fact that Tina met her maker in a panic. The cat has been known to get on the table ….


In other news, Carrefour is a dream to shop in now that it is being boycotted by the Chinese. A groundswell of text messages and emails from the populace have created a China Tea Party. Dodos, the French, biting the hand that feeds them. Sarkrazy is for sure not my moral arbiter. The headlines today were beyond absurd. While the French government has apologized for the roughing up of the torch bearer in a wheelchair (who does that?) by a pro-Tibet activist, they did not apologize for boycotting the Olympics themselves. Hunh? So while I can now freely wheel down the aisles of my least favorite grocery store, it makes me sad. There’s nothing like being lumped in with the French, eyed with disdain as you purchase your milk and cheese. For those of us living here trying to make a positive, and I don’t just mean capitalist, contribution to the culture, boycotting the Olympics is not a solution.



Filed under Life

8 responses to “Earth Day

  1. maria

    Once more we are connected….while I wrote my comment you sent another blog…..funny ,isn´t it?
    How could I send you a “Prato da Boa Lembrança”in a safe way?This is from Matheus who had his sunday meal in Valinhos thinking about mum´s friend in China…..

  2. maria

    About turtles…….one is better than 2 in this situation.We had a couple and it was not easy to explain my kids what they were doing several times a day while we listened to XXX movie sound from the garden…..One died,the other left for a ride and never came back….Matheus felt sad ….I can not say the same….

  3. Amiginha,
    Send the plate! Just wrap it well and send via Sedex after you get my card with the new address. I will send you photo of the 25 displayed on the wall in my kitchen. What is the new plate restaurant in Valinhos? And didn’t you actually accidentally smuggle the turtles? I had no idea they made that much noise during XXX. Fascinating factoid for Earth Day.

  4. Mood Ring Momma

    Remember our cousins’ turtle? I loved that thing. I remember thinking it was about a low maintenance a pet one could ever have. Of course it did live by a pool in San Jose, and in fact I believe it was actually a tortoise.

    How did Thing 3 handle the loss?

  5. Wow – love your blog man. I am laughing and re-living Shanghai. I see you’re in THE FOREST – La Te Da! Love ya!
    Anna Banana

  6. Ms Moto ~ retired

    “Prato da Boa Lembranca” there were some fun memories! I haven’t hung the plates since moving.
    Love your blog and miss you!

  7. maria

    The restaurant is “Laura &Francesco” but I think it was in Valinhos before you move but they were accepted for P.da Lembrança this month….
    my turtles was the Jabuti kind(the wild ones …I got the couple in a trip to Bahia)Loucura total!!!
    we kept that in a 5 star suite for one week …complete disaster for my holidays…

  8. expat princess

    MRM: Vague memory of tortoise but of course, it would have held no interest for me whatsoever. I was busy reading trashy novels and sunbathing. Thing 3 was devastated …. much crying and gnashing of teeth.

    Anna Banana: Thanks, girl! Yes, I am surrounded by Stepford Wives.

    Mrs. Moto: Hang your plates! You were my inspiration!!!!!! How could you not hang them????

    Maria: How sad am I that I missed a new restaurant?!!!!!

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