Updated Birdcrap Counter: 10 Craps in 26 Months

After weeks of coverage about my life in Thailand, I need to take a step back and discuss the birdcrap counter. Not too long ago, I posted about the birds who have crapped on my head – 9 birds, in just under 2 years of travel. I wrongly thought that this would be the end of the birdcrap counter, but alas I was mistaken: this morning, an Asian Koel bird (picture, above left) took a shit on my noggin.

Inevitably, when I update the Birdcrap Counter I receive a slew of responses about how lucky I am. It is true that in most cultures, getting defacated on by a winged creature (and, I’ve been told, a gecko) is extremely lucky. It is also true that I have been extremely lucky on a personal level – 2 years doing what I’ve always dreamed of, with a set of energetic, fascinating new friends and some incredible memories.

So bring it on, birds of the world. It’s a small price to pay for the aggregate of my many adventures on the road.

The Birdcrap Saga: Is it REALLY good luck?

* * *

Crap 10: Bangkok, Thailand

The Crap: I was on my way to the hospital this morning, to get a chest x-ray and a doctor to figure out why my cough has been worsening day by day. (The answer, it turns out, involves my nights spent inhaling black smoke from the tyres burning on my corner.)

garden on rajwithee, bangkok
The beautiful garden outside my room in Din Daeng

Living in a garden has its benefits: lovely green vines, a cosy place to read – and many colourful birds. Among them, the Asian Koel who not only wakes me at 4am with its ‘wah-waaaaah’ sounds, but also likes the look of my head.

Crap 9: Yangon, Myanmar

The Crap:In the midst of explaining that birds love to take a crap on my head, a pigeon decided to punctuate the tale by shitting on me. The fact that I was actually talking about the Official BirdCrap Counter to a Canadian couple whilst the crap occurred was extraordinary. Being Burma, a crowd gathered within seconds as the 3 of us doubled over with laughter at the side of a busy street, wondering what had us so out-of-control.

birdcrap counter

Craps 7 & 8. Nyangshwe, Inle Lake, Myanmar

The Crap: A twofer, courtesy of Burmese birds. The first crap occurred while I was standing outside of the beautiful Mingalar Inn, my home in Nyangshwe for the week. I had, of course, just showered and washed my hair. While talking to the owner about my day, a magpie let a huge one rip and it landed squarely on my skull. Trying to explain the Birdcrap Counter to the hotel was a huge fail, but at least Honza and Sergey, two new traveling friends, had a good laugh at my expense. That night, as the 3 of us were drinking wine, another bird shat on my head (and on my bag – it was a spread-out crap). On the bright side: I had witnesses for my 2nd twofer of the Official Birdcrap Counter.

birdcrap counter inle lake

Crap 6: El Nido, The Philippines

The Crap: Spending several months in El Nido gifted me some of the happiest memories of my life – and Crap #6. Nestled into the Bacuit Bay and surrounded by huge karst cliffs, the town is ground zero of a multitude of bird species, one of which took a liking to my small head. The unfortunate event occurred while I was scaling one of the limestone cliffs, so by the time I returned to town I stunk like it was nobody’s business.

bird shit counter palawan

Crap 5: Ko Phang-an, Thailand

The Crap: A month of yoga on a tropical island should translate into a state of total zen. And while I was calmer than I’ve ever been, Crap #5 didn’t make me smile. There might have been a small temper tantrum on Haad Salad beach.

bird shit counter ko phangan

Crap 4: Gandantegchinlen Monastery, Ulan-Bator, Mongolia

The Crap: Pigeons are considered good luck in Mongolia, and feeding them is encouraged. As a result, there are plenty of pigeons to go around, which becomes abundantly clear when visiting a monastery, aka a pigeon-feeding zone. Crap #4 had me spluttering with rage when a pigeon let one loose on my head and then landed next to me and looked up, expecting food. He did not get any.

mongolia monestary

Crap 3: The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Crap: En route to the lovely Isla Española in the Galapagos Islands, a trail of giant frigate birds followed our boat in its wake, weaving to and fro above us. Of course, this meant that one of them took a shit. And of course, it landed on me. Given the size of these birds, let’s just say I needed more than 1 shower to clean it off.

Frigate birds, incoming!

frigate bird in flight.

Craps 1 & 2: Paracas, Peru.

The Crap: When winding my way up the coast of Peru, a visit to Paracas made perfect sense. Known as Peru’s Galapagos, the Islas Ballestas and the Paracas National Park are home to cormorants, penguins, condors, pelicans and flamingos, as well as dolphins, sea lions, turtles, sharks and more. Unfortunately for me, the sheer volume of birds meant that I was statistically doomed to be shat upon. Which I was, twice. And every other tourist in the boat got out unscathed.

And thus concludes the current state of the Official Birdcrap Counter. With  only a few weeks left on this trip before heading back home for the summer, I am curious to see whether I’ll have a #11 to report.

Until then, warily watching the sky wherever I go,


18 thoughts on “Updated Birdcrap Counter: 10 Craps in 26 Months”

  1. Hilarious! I have never been crapped on ever, but I have witnessed it happen to bewildered friends. I wonder what attracts the birds to crap on you?

  2. Maybe it’s true that having birds crap all over you is good luck-look at your ‘wander’ful life. Meanwhile, I haven’t had a bird crap on me forever and look how shitty my life was last year – a contractor who ran with our money in the midst of a home reno, a nervous breakdown at work – all resulted in no travel for me. However, I did get blessed with a lovely daughter, now 2 months old. I guess we should just keep counting our blessings!

  3. Oh my god Jodi, this is a riot – 10 times, I mean, that’s a LOT! I don’t think I’ve been crapped on once on this RTW :-) Oh how lucky, lucky you are ;-)

  4. You are so lucky!
    Hilarious, The only ‘shit on head’ counter I’ve ever read although I guess it would be quite wierd if I read a lot of them?

  5. Thanks for your comments everyone. Curious to see if and when crap #11 comes along, but it’s been pretty ridiculous to keep adding to the Birdcrap counter. 10 IS a lot! As many of my friends have said: I’ve got a tiny head – imagine if it was bigger?

  6. um, wow! Maybe it’s something in your shampoo that attracts them?? I was crapped on once, at school at the age of 5 or 6…that was traumatic enough for me!

  7. Wow that is a lot of good luck for one person. I have yet to experience a bird crapping on my head, but I have been witness to someone walking with me get the ol’ poop on the noggin’ more than once. Guess I’m not that lucky.

  8. LOL. Oh god,t this post makes me laugh. You’ll see, mine will be the X number of times I got lost or how many times I sprained my ankle. You poor thing, clearly you were a nasty bird in a former life, and your brethren are getting back at you. :)

  9. Wow – this is freaking hysterical! You had my laughing the entire time I read it. I’m sorry you have been hit so many times but if it is good luck you are in good hands!

    Well just a month ago I was shooting a wedding and we were doing some pics besides a lake. Wouldn’t ya know it a bird flew over and pooped on both of them! Wedding attire and all! Hopefully it’s good luck for them as well! :)

  10. Jodi, last year I did a boat tour around an ecological reserve with over 5 million seabirds. The sky was blacked out, and I did not get shit on. You have a special talent, dear. Embrace.

  11. Jodi-

    This is hilarious! Yes, I think your blogging needed some comic relief after everything going on in Bangkok and this was just the thing to do it! My roommate in Hawaii one summer got pooed on while we were waiting for the bus, and I was laughing so hard I couldn’t clean it off for her. But 10 times- Oh what luck you have!

    1. Thanks. It has become a legacy, hilariously enough – now when someone I know on Twitter gets shat on, I get a tweet saying “@legalnomads, a bird shat on me and I thought of you!”. Unexpected but funny, and glad you enjoyed the post!

  12. This post was hilarious to read. And 10 in just over two years, it seems like some kind of record. You need a badge or a medal for this.

    The only two times I was ever crapped on was while camping at a lake (which was inevitable, there were a lot of seagulls) and during my first trip to NYC. I`d always wanted to go to New York and I was wandering around in this dreamlike state. The bird shit was a wakeup call, like one of those pinch me moments you have in life. maybe it`s the same for you, just a real reminder you`re living life and not in a dream. Or maybe it`s just a strange coincidence.

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