Siamese fighting fish

We’re still deep in the trenches at the taxidermy school outside Beijing, but I thought I’d take a moment to remember some living animals we came across, recently:  Cambodian fighting fish.

The males of the species will live for 2 or 3 years, it’s said, and maybe even 7 or 9 if fed right… but if you stick them together, whoa. Cut that approximate down to a few minutes.

We came on this crowd of eight guys in a DVD shop, squatting mesmerized around an upturned 2-liter soda bottle.  Inside the bottle, the two fish swam around each other.  There was darting, but no nipping.  No bites.  Certainly no death.  I’d expected more of a cock-fight scenario, with hoodlums waving cash as blood and feathers flew in the air.  This was more like siesta time in Siem Reap.

After a few minutes of watching, my interest faded, and I started to look for a bootleg copy of Poultrygeist on the shelves instead.  Never did find one, or find out who won.  Other local treasures called to us…  We’d heard they had some old temples or something.

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