Monday, October 27, 2014

#IRC2014: The hunt for goldfish

I've prepped my part of the IRRI exhibit, which was why I wanted to see if there's anything I could do to help...

Paul: Can you buy fighting fish or goldfish?
Rochie: Fish? As in, live fish?!? What's the fish for?
P: We'll put it with the flood-tolerant rice... Buy fish food and anti-chlorine tablets as well.
R (scratching her head): Where in Bangkok am I supposed to find live fish?!?

Since Otep, another attendee at the International Rice Congress, was finished with his chores, I asked him to go with me to search for fish. The staff at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center gave directions to the fish shop and instructions on commuting via the BTS SkyTrain. It was an exciting time for me because it's my first time to visit Bangkok and I was already going to try riding the train! So, off Otep and I went, with spring to our step. This was an opportunity to see the city!

The hunt for fish had officially begun.

As per instruction, we disembarked at the Udom Suk station in Bangkok's Bang Na district. According to the instructions, we were supposed to cross the street and then pass by a 7-Eleven branch before we reached the fish shop. However, we must have gone lost in translation because we ended up in a fish market... You know, for freshly caught (and very dead) fish to be eaten, not live ones that could be put in an aquarium.

Thank goodness for international roaming and a flat-rate data plan, I was able to search for a nearby pet shop specializing in aquatic animals. And by 'nearby', Google found a shop a kilometer away! Our only concern was that "Udom Suk Aquarium" might turn out to be similar to Ocean Park—a tourist destination—instead of a pet shop. The search pages I've scanned, however, suggested that it indeed was a store selling pet fish. 

And so we walked, with me wishing that I had flown my crutches with me and that I've wrapped my foot with Ace. Nevertheless, it was a good way of seeing this part of Bangkok. At last, we've reached Udom Suk Soi 15, the address of the fish shop.

Oh boy... I didn't realize, not being a fish enthusiast, that there are so many fish that look like goldfish! They're all orange! Otep and I just chose the fish whose sizes (we thought) appeared to be proportional to the size of the glass case where they'll live for a week.

Happy that we found the fish, Otep and I went back to the convention center. Paul then treated the water with the anti-chlorine drops (we didn't find the tablet form) and acclimatized the fish before setting them loose with the rice.

Looks like they're all happy in the water, no? Little did these fish know that they're about to become famous this week.