Both of these choices are answers we got when we asked, “Why do the old men always put blue covers on the bird cages when they go for walks?”
(a) because their bird might learn bad language from the other birds.
(b) so their birds don’t get dizzy from their “exercise.”
What do you think? Here’s a clue: Why are the cages in the first man’s hands parallel to the ground?
He’s swinging the bird cages. Swinging the cages makes the birds hold onto their perch and flap their wings, so they use their muscles and get exercise. The owners don’t want their birds to get dizzy, so they cover the cages. They also cover them during transport, I assume for a similar reason.
These are special birds. They can say hello in Chinese, and imitate a variety of cell phone rings. We asked how much for one at the flower-bird-fish-bug market, and the guy told me 3000 RMB ($400 CDN)! I can’t believe it, even though my second and third opinions agreed. Crazy.
In our neighbourhood, the retired men usually take their birds for a walk to the park in the morning, hang them in trees or put them on the grass while they play cards, and then head home around 10:30.
I followed these guys on my bike. Turn up the sound! And no, I’m not stalking people. They really did just happen to be in front of me on the way to the pharmacy.