You have to understand that when I say that we "live in Chengdu, China," what I'm ACTUALLY saying is that we live in a teensy little apartment (not knocking it at all, just trying to put forth a realistic description of the circumstances) in the middle of a huge, HUGE urban city.
Huge urban city as in: bigger than Chicago and New York City put together, I think. Or something like that.
There's nothing, like, nature-y around us here. No grass. No parks. Buildings don't really have flowers around outside or even any of the urban-y, pretty-fying landscaping we're used to in the U.S. There's not really anything very... alive... here, other than people. (And there are lots of those.)
Most of the time, you can do an okay job telling yourself that the 100% urban-y landscape is... fine. That the fact that the only trees you see are dusty (don't know how else to put it) and that you see no flowers or animals (other than designer poofy small dogs that are people's pets) is... fine.
But a couple of weeks ago, I heard the STRANGEST sound.
(And no, I'm not talking about the roosters that I hear crowing in the mornings. And yes, your brain needs to catch up and think through this one. 100% urban landscape of high-rise apartments + ROOSTERS CROWING = Chengdu.)
The strange, unfamiliar sound I heard was... chirping.
And my brain was all: There are BIRDS around here?!?! Could that be possible? Birds that haven't been eaten or otherwise caught and used for feathers?
In a dusty tree near my apartment's tiny little balcony, I spotted movement that might have looked a lot like birdlike flight movement.
So I put pieces of bread and a small dish filled with water on my balcony.
And, a few days later, THERE WERE BIRDS outside my living room window:
And I freaked out with joy. Absolute, unbridled, childlike manic JOY.
BIRDS! In CHINA!
Where they eat:
"Everything with four legs but the table, everything with two legs but each other, everything that flies but an airplane, and everything round but the bowl."
Yes, the birds are skittish, as you can well imagine. Most of the time, when they see me near the window, they're all:
But sometimes I can watch them, even just for a little bit, before they're wise to me.