A few weeks back I was in Urbil Shopping Centre in Lasarte, a small town on the outskirts of San Sebastián. I was there to buy some Patak’s curry pastes after discovering that the Eroski -a supermarket chain- there sold them. I always loved a curry back home in Dublin and when I’d expended the last of the supplies I brought over -after accepting a job offer to teach English in the Basque Country- I subsequently went without for over a year as no shops over here sell them. While walking the aisles of Eroski I observed three small birds flying above me, chirping away. I also noticed that I was the only one who was paying them any attention, as they flew between the lights & supports on the ceiling. I found this quite refreshing as where I’m from, had three birds ventured into Dunnes Stores they’d most likely have had a broomstick waved at them after some over-officious customer complained to staff about breaches in Health & Safety.
Now having said that there are situations where, as a customer, I would not welcome birds openly roaming around me, such as the story I read a while back of some Emu birds climbing the steps of the Yaraka hotel -Yaraka is a small town 750 miles northwest of Brisbane, Australia- to get into the bar. There, while mingling with customers, they would try to drink their drinks, steal their car keys, or whatever else was left on the bar counter. They would also frequently answer the call of nature and relieve themselves in front of customers on the bar floor.
Birds making pigs of themselves is an experience I’d happily forgo; and speaking of birds acting likes pigs, I’m reminded of the pig who acted like a bird. A 14-month old Angeln Saddleback called Bobby I read about from Northern Germany found himself being herded onto a trailer bound for the abattoir by four farmers with boards. It can be surmised that this restriction to his freedom was not to his liking as he smashed through the boards and make a run for it. Over a four week period Bobby did the same thing again on another three occasions. In the end the farmer gave up trying to send him to the slaughterhouse and instead has now tried to make an Instagram star of him (Bobby_von_sonnenschein), to attract sponsorship to help pay his €100-a-month food bill. Although allowing Bobby to roam around the farm all day free as a bird, where he enjoys rolling around in the mud, I’d imagine the farmer would also prefer that he ate like one.
(c) Poraic Cahill
About Odd Life:
From a German man accusing his ex-girlfriend of attempted murder by use of her 38DD breasts, to a 107 year old having a shoot-out with the Arkansas SWAT police, the author Poraic Cahill chronicles the strange & bizarre he encounters in Odd Life.
Order your copy online here.