Otaku (おたく/オタク ?) is a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests ins specialized fields and hobbies(source- Wikipedia).
What is it that compels a hobbyist to drive an hour and a half to an auction to grab a dozen eggs of some rare, yet very grey Fundulus species? What makes a fish geek fill his or her refrigerator with little dishes of worms, fruit fly cultures, etc? Is there some thing that makes us spend hours on line researching the most esoteric details of the biotope of an obscure African Rift Lake cichlid? Or to take the time to had feed a clutch of fry with a baster 5 times a day? To search for leaves, seed pods and wood online, in order to create the perfect biotope for your fishes. Or to construct a delicate "Iwagumi" aquascape?
It's a sense of all-encompassing interest and enjoyment...The sort of hobby that you sneak a read about on the computer at work, catch up on your iPad during dinner, and chat with on forums with your friends at night...
I think it's actually hard for people outside the hobby to "get it." They seem to think that we're just another group of geeky people...far be it from me to argue with that- but we ARE much more...
It's a lifestyle- a devotion to taking care of animals, teaching responsibility and the joy of that experience to others. An obsession, yes- but also a deep, encompassing love for all things aquatic.
Next time someone asks what it's like to be a fish geek, just tell them that it's sort of like a way of life, not just another "obsession."
Simple quick thought for today.
Stay obsessed. Find your otaku.
And stay wet!
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