The Rat Game
Rats don’t really freak me out at all. I recognize them as carriers of disease, so I certainly wouldn’t want any in my building, but I don’t get “disgusted” when I see one like some people.
I live pretty near the Zhongshan Park subway stop. When I walk to the subway, I pass by a large planter with some rather sad-looking bushes and grass (?) in it. The city’s attempt to cultivate this little green oasis inside a long expanse of concrete is mostly a failure, as there’s more dirt than anything in the planter. It is also in this location that I frequently see rats.
They’re your typical brown city rats, I guess. About the size of a good Idaho potato. They like to scurry around in that dirt. There are storm drains nearby, and the Suzhou River with its bustling garbage trafficking is not far to the north. The rats come out the most after it rains.
One day Carl and I started talking about how we always see rats in that one place. Since then I can’t help looking for rats every time I go by. It’s a sort of competition.
Today on the way home I saw three rats at once, all chilling within a few feet of each other. It hadn’t even rained very recently. Beat that, Carl!