“Ominous” Crows

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Dec 10, 2017 02:22
Crows are reckoned to be ominous in Chinese culture. The bird has pitch dark feathers and a deep, gravelly voice. It’s generally believed here that if a crow is shrieking and hovering over a place, something unlucky is about to happen, say, a bedridden person is probably going to pass away soon. Chinese people don’t like crows; there’s even an idiom “a crow’s beak” to describe someone whose curse has come true.

Growing up in this culture, I found it hard to think of crows as likable creatures, though I haven't seen much of them in my life. However, during my several visits to the US, I saw crows everywhere, be it in urban areas or in the countryside. Strangely enough, I didn’t think they were annoying; quite the opposite, I enjoyed being with them, as well as other wild animals, because in Chinese cities’ streets, the chances of spotting wild animals were nearly zero. While driving in Portland and SF, I found it very interesting to see deer strolling on the road.

Last month, when my friend and I were driving around SF, with the misleading Google Map, we stumbled into a hospital or a rehabilitation center or whatever. We first thought the way we were taking just cut through the hospital, but as we drove further, the road became narrower. When we got to a hump and saw woods and buildings on three sides, we came to realize that we were probably at a dead end. A flock of crows, perhaps spooked by us, fluttered up and made a flurry of husky cawing, punctuating the dead silence.

We were right in the middle of a hospital, perhaps even near things like a mortuary, with a flock of these black birds swooping around and squeaking. My friend and I looked at each other, and I knew what he was hinting: that was a pretty ominous sign! We were in a foreign country and going to drive a long distance on a cliff road…

After a few seconds, I broke into laughing and said, “Never mind! It’s in the US. American culture doesn't think crows are ominous. Just enjoy our ride.” And it later turned out that we indeed had much fun the entire way to LA. It was a very interesting experience.




几秒钟后,我笑了起来,说道:”没关系,我们现在在美国。美国人不讨厌乌鸦。好好上路吧。“ 后来也证明确实如此,我们从旧金山到洛杉矶一路上玩得非常开心。很有趣的一次经历。