My Grandma’s Caretaker

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When my parents went back to Hong Kong, they got a place shared with three other families. It was on the third floor of a long flat in the Western side of Hong Kong Island. We shared a quarter of the flat. My older sister was ten years older than I.  She worked quite far away, so she roomed with another co-worker close to work. I was about seven or eight years old, but I became the oldest child in the family.

It was not very clear when my grandma turned blind. Our quarter in that flat was too small for grandma to live with us. So she lived by herself in an attic of another house. My chore was to take dinner to her every evening.  My mom packed the dinner in a basket and covered the food with a cloth to keep it warm (It reminded me of The Little Red Riding Hood!).  It took me about 10 minutes to walk to my grandma’s attic.  Walking to my grandma’s attic was a favorite part of my day. I still remember some of the stores and offices I passed by in those days.

The office that attracted most of my attention was an orthopedic office that had a huge aquarium in the front window. After I delivered the dinner to my grandma and helped her eat. I eagerly went home hoping to stop by the aquarium to watch the fish. They were colorful saltwater fish. Among them, there were several pink fish.  I was told that they were kissing fish.  I stood in front of the aquarium. My eyes followed the pink fish to see if they kissed.  Many times they swam toward each other, but when they got very close, one made a turn and swam the other way.  My eyes followed them again and waited curiously.

One day I stopped in front of the aquarium.  A girl came by and stood next to me.  I told her about the kissing fish.  We were watching.  Then the two pink fish swam slowly toward each other.  They were getting closer and closer.  Finally, they were facing each other, and then kissed!

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Note: The scientific name of the Pink Kissing Gourami is Helostoma Rudolfi.  The male Gouramis don’t kiss the female Gouramis. The kissing, in fact, is fighting among the male fish.

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