Terra and I were at the Festival of the Last Minute, which is really Portland Saturday Market, and during the week before Christmas, it’s open every single day for those last-minute shoppers. We picked up two small gifts for friends of hers from school. Little did we know, the smallest and most inexpensive gift was to give us days of entertainment, despite giving it to it’s intended recipient as planned.

Bolls waiting to "grow up"

The gift in question was labeled “Seven Color Crystal Boll!” a tiny clear plastic packet (maybe 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches) of teeny tiny colored beads. (Sorry, my pathetic point and shoot camera can’t do close-ups, so the images are blurry). This packet is one of the finer examples of languages translated into English that simply don’t cut it. I imagine that the translation was from China. However, this remains firmly in question, since the front of the package states, “Designed in Korea,” but the back of the package counters, “Made in China.” So… if my complaint is with the writing on the package, I may need to take that up with Korea.

goo globs

As you can see, the small plastic package is brightly colored and many of the phrases are followed by exclamation points, in order to show you how awesome it is. The front of the package says: “Seven Color Crystal Boll! 500g Designed in Korea. OK!! OK!!”

On the back we get instructions. “Product use information:

  1. add water 400g on the product about 4 hours it will grow up
  2. one clear beauty satiety face will grow up
  3. when the flower want to oxygen and nutrition, I will help you too much.

Made in China.  OK!!”

Fine, I’ll admit it: Terra and I had to look up satiety. We even used the audio option on to figure out how to pronounce it. Fine KOREA!! Just USE an English word I don’t know. Be that way.

Question: use less water than the weight of the packet itself? Just wondering. My scales for measuring grams are still packed…

And, um, instruction 3.? Honestly, I am not satisfied with anything my poor brain imagines is the intended meaning here. Are the beads lucky? What flower? Oxygen?

We could not stand the raging curiosity any longer, and discovering a small note on the side “this flap to open,” we realized there was no other option but to confiscate a few tiny bolls for our own use. We unstuck the sealed flap, poured out six bolls, and resealed. (Timmy will never know)

Terra dripped water onto the bolls in a small pyrex dish. Since I have no concept of grams other than knowing they are individually small, I can’t tell you how close we matched the instruction of 400g of water. We sat back to watch them grow up. First they get fuzzy/gooey on the outside, sorta like frog eggs that molded before they got a chance to turn into pollywogs. And yes, in about 4 hours, we had six jelly globs, less firm than eyeballs, but eyeball-like.

sparkling, eyeball-like, crystal bolls

The woman who sold them to us told us they would last forever. Just let them dry out, and they will turn into beads again. Or, bolls, excuse me. Its several days later and we still have six multicolored eyeballs in a pyrex dish in the kitchen.