Wednesday, September 3, 2008


At my office I sit facing a wall of windows. This means that I often look up and stare out the window when I am thinking or something interesting catches my eye. In so doing, I have often noticed flocks of pigeons flying together, seemingly in circles. Turns out, here in Shanghai there are pigeon trainers. These people train their groups of pigeons to stay together and to race other pigeon trainers' pigeons. So what I see is them practicing. I don't know the particulars... like what the prizes are or the exact rules of the pigeon numbers and formations, but I assume that there are some. I also assume that the prize is money, as I bet that they gamble on the outcome. I have seen a number of these pigeon trainers around the city actually, and once someone actually explained what they were, I noticed a few more. I can't say it's the weirdest thing I've seen since I've been here... but there's something a bit strange about training pigeons to fly together in circles in a race against another group of pigeons also flying in a circle. Maybe that's just me.

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