Walking in Hangzhou the other day we noticed a gathered crowd. A crowd in China is nothing to get too excited about, sometimes even we cause a small crowd to gather when we eat dinner outside or go clothes shopping.
But when we see a crowd, especially in a park, we figure there is something good going on in the middle; perhaps a dancing woman, an old man playing the erhu, or maybe some families playing cards or Chinese chess.
So when we saw this crowd we were slightly curious and tried to make our way around it so see what was going on. Everyone was jostling their cameras, kids were yelling excitedly and most people were craning their necks or holding their cameras high above their heads to get a good picture of the exciting happenings.
Turns out they were looking at a squirrel in a tree.
In the tree.
Seriously, I’m not quite sure what all the excitement was about. True, squirrels aren’t common in major parks or urban areas, but they aren’t rare in China and I think they live in big numbers in more wooded areas. In fact I found an article saying a squirrel park was going to be opened in China right near where I live. (Though I could find no evidence of it actually being built.)
So while I felt a little bad for the squirrel (especially as some people were throwing rocks at it, check out the kid to the right of the trunk) it was certainly making the day for several tourists. And the squirrel took the attention of all the people around us so they didn’t even notice us, two foreigners, walking around. We rarely get a moment of peace in a crowd without being stared at, so thank you little squirrel. Thank you for being unusual to look.
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