Saturday, 8 March 2014

The Bird Market

Even if I hadn’t read (and unusually, remembered) that Yeun Po Bird Garden was at the end of the flower market, I’d have known by the noise. A cacophony of chirps, whistles, screeches and hoots filled the air. The garden is really a wide walkway with flowers and trees on either side, and it was this that I’d come to visit.

But even better than the birds are the men who come to the garden to WALK their birds.

Each day the city’s songbird owners take Tweety in his cage to the garden to talk to the other birds. The men, for they are almost exclusively men, hang their cages next to each other along bars under the eaves of bird market buildings (which abut the garden). Then they sit and chat as their birds catch up with each other on the previous days’ events. It seemed odd that there was only one woman, who sat by herself on the other side of the garden, but then I wondered if this is the Chinese equivalent of men’s poker games.

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