Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hangzhou Hogs

I think I may have mentioned that I didn’t like Hangzhou, China all that much. I found it oppressively hot and as a tourist attraction, a little underwhelming. Our team got beaten badly in a soccer game we saw played there, and to top it all off, I dropped my camera in a lake. Not that that’s Hangzhou’s fault, it just didn’t help matters any.

Over the weekend, however, I noticed a blurb in the travel section that made me understand that our experience there could have been far worse. How, you ask? Three words: ravenous feral pigs. (Please note that this would also make an excellent band name.)

Apparently enormous and famished wild boars have been ransacking buildings all over town, and one even tried to ram a taxicab, making me feel much better about the times we had trouble hailing one. The problem has gotten so bad that officials are considering allowing hunting. “We will try to drive them away, but shooting will be allowed if necessary," one spokesman said.

So on top of the already documented hazards of sightseeing in Hangzhou—heatstroke, aggressive drivers, and dining dysphoria, you can now add boar goring and stray bullets. We will not be returning any time soon.

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