Attack of the Eat People Fish
It’s not just human foreigners who are upsetting the locals with their bad behaviour.
Every summer, Liuzhou’s river, the Liujiang becomes a popular place to cool down. Personally, I wouldn’t dip a toe in it. I’ve seen too many dead bodies floating down it. Several rats, a few pigs, one buffalo and two people. Despite Wen Jiabao’s famous statement about the city’s clean water, it is in fact filthy.
But now, there is an even better reason to keep well clear. A couple of people have been injured by the river’s more carnivorous residents. It seems that a number of piranha have taken up residence and have been attacking people.
It has been reported that a Mr Zhang was washing his dog in the river when he was badly bitten, but managed to land the fish and later identify it. His friend, Mr Wu was also bitten when he “teased” the fish.
It seems that the fish, native to South America, have been imported as exotic pets, then chucked into the river when their owners got bored of them. And there are concerns that they may have now started breeding. Damned foreigners!
I am, however, delighted to fill one of the uncountable gaps in my Chinese vocabulary, I learn that piranha is 食人鱼 or 食人鲳, both of which literally translates as ‘eat people fish’. I’ll be dropping that casually into conversations over the next few weeks.