Monday, February 18, 2008

The Indian Suburban Safari

"I like my new bunny suit,
I like my new bunny suit,
I like my new bunny suit,
When I wear it I feel cute."

So Nice So Smart (2004) by Kimya Dawson

Half the entire Juno soundtrack was composed and performed by Kimya Dawson.

I like her songs. They make me feel as if I have a friend right here with me in my room, playing the guitar and singing to me.

After months of inept effort to capture the elusive and timid squirrels which live on the tree beside my apartment on camera, I finally got a breakthrough.

Some unknown benefactor have scattered some unidentifiable squirrel snacks on a concrete slab behind my place, and I spotted a little nibbler having a picnic by itself there when I came home from lunch. Of course, it scampered off as soon as I appeared - there simply wasn't enough time for me to whip out my camera and go paparazzi on the li'l squirt.

So I did what a good paparazzo would do - I lay in wait.

Sitting motionless on the steps of my house with my camera all zoomed and focused on the concrete slab for a whole half an hour is not my idea of a thirty minutes well-spent, but impulses like this just take me occasionally. Anyhow, it's not like I think I'm some seriously pro amateur photographer or something. I mean, how can I? My "equipments" consist of a pocket-size Panasonic Lumix which can barely zoom past my nose (and the number of times I dropped it on the floor seriously didn't help either). I want a camera that looks like some sort of experimental laser weapon. Wait, scratch that. I want an experimental laser weapon more.

Here's the payoff,

"Nomh nomh nomh..."

Cautiously, it approached the snackables one little squirrel step at a time - sniffing, twitching. It saw me but since I did not even move the slightest bit at all, it must have thought that I was some strange species of garden ornament (squirrels aren't known for their smarts).

I squeezed the clicker gently. The sound of mechanical whirring ensued from within the camera as the lens readjust itself - and then a barely audible "tsk" came from the shutter. The squirrel heard these noises, evident from its nervous pause. It looked my way with its beady little eyes, a bit of lunch still held primly in its forepaws,

"Wassat noise?"

It soon lost interest and went back to its very important business of stuffing its face. Me? I just sat there and watch it feed till it finally had enough and left. I do this quite a lot, actually - this watching silently from afar thing. I like trying to guess what they are thinking . Especially cows. I mean, all they do most of the time is sit around of their fat beefy arses, chewing cuds and mooing philosophically at passerbys.

"What do you think they are thinking?" I asked Phoebs once.

"They don't think anything," she replied as-a-matter-of-factly. "They are cows."

Speaking of animals, I noticed that some sort of niche drift phenomenon had occurred here in Manipal - possibly due the fact there is simple so many stray cows roaming about the place.

One thing which I found queer was how the bovines love rooting through garbage and eating them,

I wonder how cows that eat trash taste like.

Since the cows have occupied the niche of the pestilential suburban stray critter which eats garbage - a niche usually reserved for stray dogs - the curs have moved down the ladder and took over the cats' job of climbing and walking haughtily on walls,

"Cat-Dog, to the rescue!"

Socks enjoying the hillside sunset.

And the cats?

They have taken to darting about in back-alleys and hiding in drains like rats,

Felis silvestris rattus.

It's no coincidence that the feral cats of India are some of the smallest in the world. Come to think of it, I have only ever seen two rats in my entire two years here in Manipal. Even back in Malacca, a place which is relatively cleaner and less conducive to a healthy rat population in comparison, I can see a rodent roadkill every other month.

Now that we're on the subject of cats, I found this strange kitty living at the mess hall which does not skitter off into the nearest gutter as if its tail is on fire as soon as a lumbering biped like me gets within 10 feet of it,

I call it Miss Unibrow.

Miss Unibrow is eerily friendly. Never have I encountered a stray cat that is so comfortable with humans that it would rub itself against someone's leg as soon as a pair gets within body-rubbing range.

I called Phoebs immediately and told her to meet me where I found the cat.
Unlike me, Phoebs is strictly a canine-lover. She had never touched a cat in her life before. I am a little more "bi" in this sense and I like cats almost as much as I like dogs. I thought that that would be an awesome opportunity to convert her to household pet bi-dom.

An E.T. moment.

You can tell from the picture above that she wasn't too comfortable with petting a kitty - and the cat was milking her ailurophobia for all it is worth. It kept pacing round and round Phoebs and smooshing its entire body against her, letting her tail curl over every contour and into every cranny. Phoebs was squealing in a horrified manner the whole time.

It's not often you can get a cat to lick your fingers.

The night after, Phoebs went to the mess hall herself to look for the kitty to play with - since her hostel is situated in the vicinity.

And she SMS'ed me telling that she's going tonight too.

It's nice to know that we're unwittingly changing each others' lifestyle just by being together.

Anyway, here's a few more pictures which I took ages ago but haven't the opportunity to use them in any post before,

A dicky bird perched on a lecturer's motorcycle.

It's one of those feather-brains that oscillate their ass-feathers up and down in their feather-brained mating rituals. This one was trying to impress a chick somewhere in the bushes doing that butt-flipping thing over and over again before giving up and decided that posing on a bike is cooler and would have a higher chance of attracting sex a partner - possibly along the same lines of thought as most of the male students here in Manipal. I mean, every other guy owns a bike here!

Considering the proximity of everything in this little cow village, Manipal probably produces the highest quantity of pointless air pollution in the entire Asian continent. Global warming is not a myth people!

Just look at these two water-birds,

How did I know they are water birds? The Donald Duck feet are dead give-aways.

Global warming have robbed these mother and offspring belonging to a race a butt-ugly birds of their watery habitat. When I found them, they were living at the bus-stop (the one near the public toilet) at the Tiger Circle in the middle of town.

We need to stop burning fossil fuels now, everybody. I mean, do you really want a future where balding water-birds live in all our bus-stops?

Birdie see, Birdie do.

You people should go watch that documentary presented by Al Gore on the issue. An Inconvenient Truth, it is called. Those who know me and are living in Manipal, you're welcomed to visit me to get the flick from me. Trust me, after watching it, you'll never feel the same way about using electricity or riding a gas-powered vehicle ever again.

For the rest of you, here's the a link to the torrent.

And to lighten up the mood, here's some monkeys,


It's a boy! (I think).


This post have been brought to you by Global Warming Monkeys Inc. They say, "Stop gassing and start walking or we'll pee on your cars."

Thank you for reading my shit.

Suburban wildlife photographer,
k0k s3n w4i


bevE said...

1. pic 3,4,5, xD
2. socks is so human. *respect*
3. i like the whole animal changing habitat idea xD almost like natural selection
4. "shake hands, stupid human" xD
5. very hard meh to get kitties to lick u ? thats one of the first things they do to me all the time o.o
6. i thought this, "A dicky bird perched on a lecturer's motorcycle." read this, "A dicky bird perched on a lecher's motorcycle."
7. "what rubbish is this?" xD
8. the monkey biting nails caption = cute

bevE said...

second !

michellesy, animal lover said...

Is there something in the water supply in Manipal? 0_O

Animals behaving erratically eh? *peers at James's photographic proof quizzically*

But OMGWTFBBQDVDLEMBUPANGGANG I cannot believe those cows are munching on RUBBISH! Or that there is so much rubbish for them to munch on in the first place - enough to share with 'em monkeys (even the er, randy one wtf).

And damn right those are some fugly birds =P

I still can't decide if Phoebs or Miss Unibrow is more adorable in those photos =D Phoebs looks so shy and hesitant when she was trying to pet Miss Kitty too haha!

And Miss Unibrow has SUCH a pretty face and those eyes!!! *melts*

Yeah, yeah, I like animals in case you couldn't tell. Dogs, cats, I even have a soft spot for (clean and hygienically reared wtf) rodents. I must be bonkers. Yes indeedy =P

calvin said...

just as a matter of fact, i'm straight - being it be with dogs or cats XD

by the way, great job in capturing the pics of the squirrel. i tried once, and i don't think it would be good idea to mention how my attempt turned out to be =P

gaL said...

HEY. thanks for telling who's the singer for JUNO soundtrack. SYoh! high five la. i do feel that she's singing with me too. haha

bevE said...

uh ! forgot to put this morning to list

9. feebsie so dem skinny =.= wth DIET summore >_> *smacks feebsie to oblivion*

lemon said...

i dun look skinny in tht picture also T_T i got cellulite on my rump, jz tht u can't c. hehe xD i played wif kitty last nite!! so cute k. i like petting her :D i tried 2giv her mango ice cream bt she dun1. sniff. i noticed her eyes r like slits whn its bright n in d pikchur its all round o.0 her pupils dilate so much *in awe* ehheh.. i tink kitty's mor adorable michsy ^_^"

michellesy said...

LOL - can I say both of you are equally adorable? XD

Btw, where is James and why isn't he joining in this lovely mush-fest ahahahahah =P

bevE said...

everyone's got cellulite in their rump. that's why it's called a BUTT. otherwise the back would go straight on to the leg. T^T and dun u try to brainwash me ok po I think your gf is like ANOREXIC. hello ?! the bones are practically jutting out from your knees, your knuckles are straining against the skin to cut them and get out, i can SEE the vein on the inside of your wrist which looks like it can so easily pop from one tap. >_>

so dun even TRY saying u dun look skinny T^T

Falcon said...

written very well!

k0k s3n w4i said...

beve: You smell like fish. That's why they lick you. Phoebs neither skinny nor fat. She's just perfect, like always.

michellesy: They like the plastic the local milk comes in, and cardboard boxes. And I think they just naturally like garbage since there's no shortage of fodder about. I thought Miss Unibrow looked kind of mean actually. Especially that fearsome unibrow. James stands by his principle of standing a safe distance away from mush at all times.

calvin: Flighty li'l things, squirrels. It should be easier for you right - you take such awesome pictures :)

gal: You can easily find that out in Wikipedia, but glad to have inadvertently helped. The music sounds so sincere...

lemon: Of course she don't want mango ice-cream. She wants Beve's fishy fingers.

falcon: commented very well!

bevE said...

Maybe I smell like milk, nice warm milky smell. T^T You juz jelez.

Bleh, my mistake, of course you think she's perfect she's your gf. -_- But I still think she's really that skinny. T^T And even if you don't, that's the beginnings of anorexia right there by even wanting to diet. If she's so perfect she dun need to diet. Are you denying that too? T^T

gaL said...

hahahha... lazy ma... ;)