Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Walk in the Park

 When traveling I like to be up early in the morning and see what's what. You can learn a lot about a culture by what people do at the start of the day.  

Across from my hotel there is a nice park.  It's quite large, with a couple of good sized ponds and little bridges, and takes around twenty minutes to walk around.  I'm usually up by 6 or 6:30, and sometimes on a nice day I'll go over and take a walk there.   You'll see people doing Tai Chi       like the woman between the trees in the picture above, people walking their little dogs (don't see too many big ones here), or older people, married couples or friends of the same sex, out for a morning stroll. Sometimes I'll see a lone young person, sitting on a rock or at a bridge, contemplating the day before work.  

All of these were expected, especially the Tai Chi.  What I did not expect was the morning bird outing.  In the picture, you can see bird cages hanging from trees.  This is just a sample.  At least thirty or forty people show up, some in utility vehicles with several cages, others by themselves, and bring their pet chickadees  for the birds to enjoy the outdoors, at least from the safety of their cages.  There is one area of the park where these people gather, and it is alive with the sound of birds chirping as the owners gather to catch up on the news, have a smoke, or stretch.   

Birds are more low maintenance pets, and also take up less room than dogs.  But cats are more common here than I would have thought--also low maintenance.  Just not in the same household with birds, I'd guess.

No comments: