Sometimes the most memorable travel experiences happen when you’re least expecting it. Recently I met a man in a park. I noticed him because he was holding a wild magpie, a bird that is known not to be very friendly in Australia. I thought he was probably insane…
In Australia magpies are known to attack people when they are guarding their nests. When I first arrived in this country I heard a news bulletin about how a girl got her eyes scratched out during a vicious a magpie attack.
To protect themselves, Australian bikers resort to wearing helmets with spikes on them like this:
When I saw the man holding this dangerous bird I had to stop to talk to him and take a picture. The man told me about how he has gone all over the world and done this with wild hawks and eagles; and within seconds of our conversation I was somehow holding the magpie.
The female magpie broke every stereotype and sat gently on my arm while the man and I fed it raw mince meat. The man whistled back and forth with the bird while I talked to it in regular old english. Suddenly people were walking by me thinking I was insane (I probably am).
It was a good reminder that an amazing travel experience doesn’t always have to cost money, sometimes all it takes is talking to an interesting person in a park!
Have you come across any interesting people in your travels? Tell me about it in the comments below.