Me and Chairman Mao
  When animals attack!
There's a spot in People's Square, not far from the back of the Shanghai Museum, where people gather to feed the pigeons. Or maybe the pigeons gather to be fed by the people, I'm not sure--it's one of those chicken/egg things, like whether or not Adam and Eve had navels, that you can never really answer satisfactorily. Anyway, the point is that, whatever the case, the spot in question always has both a lot of people and a lot of pigeons. As well as a person with a cart selling bags full of bread crumbs, which I suppose also contributes to the problem, but whatever.

(Side note: People's Square is the Shanghai equivalent of Tiananmen Square, except instead of concrete and tank tracks it has lots of grass, an underground shopping mall, and three nice new museums, including the coolest urban planning museum ever built. And sure, it's the only urban planning museum I've ever been to, but I'm pretty confident that a cooler one doesn't exist, mostly thanks to the massive scale model of Shanghai that makes the Map Room in Raiders of the Lost Ark look like a kid's toy, which is a lame comparison but it's the best I've currently got. Naturally, I do have some planning museum pictures, that I will definitely post, like so many other things, at some point ...)

But moving on. With so many pigeons around, things can get out of control pretty fast, as a little girl found out the last time I was walking through the park. Here she is happily feeding the pigeons:

And here she is about ten seconds later, significantly less happy since the pigeons seemed to have figured out en masse that she was dropping food everywhere and it was all available for the eating:

The crying--not pictured--started immediately after this, as you might imagine.

On a slightly different note, a few minutes later we walked by a pretty nice restaurant near People's Square, and I happened to notice that pigeon was on the lunch menu. Now I'm certainly not saying there's a connection between that and the hundreds of plump, succulent, well-fed pigeons hanging out every day almost right outside the restaurant's front door, but it is a little suspicious, don't you think? Yeah, me too ...
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