It’s been a while!
So I’ve been playing weekly football outside the Shanghai Indoor Stadium, which is a great setting as the pitches are surrounded by massive high-rises and the locals crowd round to watch. Considering some of them just keep chanting “Louwai! Louwai!” (Foreigner! Foreigner!), I imagine it’s quite a novelty seeing a dozen non-asians running after a ball for a couple of hours. The bloke who runs the football pitches is a grumpy arse. He frequently makes us move pitches for no reason (as we are the only people who play on them) and stops us mid-game to collect his fees – an infuriating habit. Last week as we were warming up the grumpy arse’s mate was walking his dog around the pitch. He halted on the goal-line for his pooch to produce a massive poo. Satisfied, the offending couple moved on. A few of us gave chase, ranting and shouting in broken Chinese and blunt English. But nothing was done, so we had to move pitches. I am at a loss at this blatant display of double standards. The bloke just seemed to point at his dog like it was the animal’s fault. Yes, the dog will poo where it likes, but it’s on a lead. Connected to you! Drag your filthy animal to at least the dugout before one of our goalkeepers gets pink-eye and a dirty jersey whilst making a save. Unbelievable.
Shanghai seems to have quite a love affair with dogs. Unlike the north, where they eat them (and in Yunnan where I actually saw a Labrador being blow-torched) they are now treasured accessories. Dog parlours seem to be springing up everywhere, where you can have your dog dyed various colours and shaved to look like Grace Jones. During winter (which has been unamusingly Baltic) the number of tiny handbag dogs in fetching canine-jackets has increased exponentially. These jackets often come with tiny dog booties and little hats. I’ve seen denim ‘Hells Angel’ Chihuahuas to poodles with green tails, yellow heads and a fleece jacket with a slogan that reads something like ‘Mummy’s Boy.’ Disgusting. Sensing the rise in such naffness, the local government has stepped in, limiting the number of dogs any resident can keep to one. Just like children then. Talking of which, considering parents let their infant kids crap on the street, there’s not much in the way of pooper scoopers for dog’s mess. Walking downtown is like that bit in the Last Crusade when Indy has to spell God’s name. This will be the last blog I talk about poo for a while. I promise.