Pigeon Love, in zhongwen

“Bu yao WEI ka shi!” I said awkwardly. [‘Don’t feed the pigeons.’]
“Dui.” She responded. [‘Correct.’]
Whew- it had taken a bit of back and forth to communicate that I wanted to say “don’t feed the pigeons” in Chinese- she didn’t know the English word for pigeon until I had told her two or three phrases I’d looked up in my Mandarin dictionary. I had stepped into the vitamin and jewelry shop that caters to Chinese National tourists, near my block, to get some coaching in Mandarin.
Just one more incident in living in a polyglot community- you end up making new friends, learning a few useful phrases. You’d think it would be “Hi,” or “How are you?,” even “How was your day?” But now we delve right into the community aspect of… don’t make our block a welcoming home for the pigeons!

I know I won’t be able to translate all of my strong feelings on pigeons…

I used to be normal. I used to look at them and think of big Roman piazzas, Parisian benches in urban parks, even a lonely skyscraper with a poor pigeon bird huddled on a corner. (OK stretching the Peregrine parallel too far!) Then, a few years ago they infested the deck of my old apartment and I had to battle with them the “coos” the shit, the offspring, the dirt, the pests, and, oh, the parasites.

Sure, you love animals, sure you like birds and admire their ability to fly,you don’t want to be a hater, etc. But these are flying rats overpopulating our city and spreading disease. The great bit is that you can’t get a conractor to remove them. I dare ya.

It could take all the energy of the blogosphere and still not get close. “Are they smart?” A friend asked. Well, in a way dumb enough to persist despite being shot at, blared at, poked at, or maybe that endurance means they’re just really good at adapting?

methods I know of:
– spikes on fences
– slanted surfaces
– netting off areas
– shooting them
– blaring noises
– motion lights
– “the owl” (note: each time you see one they’re usually covered in pigeon s**t, pigeon revenge!)

Just wanted to end this with a joke my old neighbor would do, that I still find funny. He would see me and go “coo coo”. LOL. OK I’m going insane.

1 Comment so far

  1. Adam (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 1:07 am

    The first time I came to San Francisco, I was with my family, and my brother decided that he wanted to kick a pigeon, for some reason. (At the time, he wore these big “shit-kickin'” boots, as my father put it.) He eventually succeeded, and said, “Yeah, they’re a lot more solid than I expected. I mean, I was thinking they’d just be all feathery, but it’s more of a ‘WHACK! kooo!'”

    (Don’t worry, he doesn’t kick pigeons any more, and the one or two he hit seemed fine anyway.)

    We need more hawks and other birds of prey in this town . . . the ones we have are probably almost too tubby to fly.

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