Although pretty much hated for being some sort of airborne rats, pigeons are a sidekick attraction in many cities around the world. Selling feed has become a good business. A euro is not much, but when thousands of tourists swarm the city on pillars, it can easily build up a fortune, because feeding the birds is fun. How they fly around you and sit on your shoulder, arm, your head. A lot more fun for those who didn’t learn German in high school from a book where the most famous sentence was a notice at an apartment building that read: “Futtern Sie nicht die Tauben. Sie machen zu viel Dreck.” It’s a punchline, I tell you. Sticks in your head. After ten years, I still know how much shit these birds produce and I’m wise enough not to let them land on my head.
Anyway, pigeons are a famous feature of Venice. The San Marco Square is like a scene from Birds. Walking towards it enfolds like a slow onset of this Hitchcock’s horror. Starts with one, soon there’s twenty, finally the sky turns black. They’re all over the place, shooting pass your nose, your ears, you can feel the flutter of their wings and the wind in your hair. But hold on a second. Where’s all the crap? They crawl all over people, and they don’t feel the need to shit on their hats? Is that feed constipating? Are they trained to be polite and crap all over the roofs of surrounding buildings? Hm… Puzzling. I’ll make a feature about it one day. I just have to figure out how to interview the birds. Hm… Maybe they have a PR officer.