Five and a Half Years

There is a term in Japanese, one that I cannot translate. 

It is 親バカ, pronounced oya-baka, which is a compound of the words parent (親) and idiot (バカ).

Like many words, the usage can span a range of meaning—from endearment to ridicule—depending upon the context, tone of voice, facial expression and such.

It is often applied to people who dote on their pets, sometimes in a derogatory manner, but mostly in a "what an idiot, isn't that so sweet?" sort of way.

I confess to being a complete 親バカ.

For instance, I take my turtle for walks.

This was cause for consternation and chatter in the neighborhood in the early days—when Oogway was too small for people to notice, which meant they thought I was looking down, muttering, shuffling quite literally at a tiny turtle's tempo.

These days—after the shock discovery by one neighbor that I was chatting with a real-life, be-shelled friend and not an imaginary one—people stop to say hello. Oogway has become a neighborhood mascot of sorts. "She's so big now," and "Wow! I remember when she was so small I couldn't see her!" are common greetings.

Autumn presents a sweet-spot for walks with Oogway—not too hot, not too cold. 

To mark the occasion of five and a half years since Oogway came to us, I'd like to share some photos from the final days of autumn this year, when we took Oogway to a nearby park for a romp. She loves to romp.

Here she is climbing out of a sandy play area:

mauremys reevesii pond turtle
Oogway getting exercise at a local park

And this is Oogway in her custom transport, complete with open-air viewing window:

mauremys reevesii pond turtle
Turtle taxi

Outings tucker her out. This is often the result back at home:

mauremys reevesii pond turtle
Chilled-out turtle

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Bonus behind-the-scenes, making-of video: