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All for the money

Though money does not bring real happiness it is important.

But the bad thing about money is that some do whatever it takes to make money.

"Money takes evil out of man" I sometimes think.

It is just sickening to see what people sometimes do for money.



Take that mail that I got long way back from the Far East.

The man wanted to buy some pigeons and asked me the price.

When I gave him the price he said I must have made a mistake. He had been at my place before with a friend and then the price was double.

I get so many visitors that I forgot about him.

Then he mailed me a photo and I remembered him and his friend.

Or better his so-called friend.

In those days his English was very poor, but that was no problem since his friend spoke and understood English very well.

And his mail made me understand what must have happened.

When they were at my place the "friend" had asked me to write down the price for a couple of babies.

He wanted me to write it down to show how honest he was. But what did he do?

He told his friend that what I had written down was the price for each baby and not for a couple.

Thus it happened that he charged his "friend" double the price and he put half of the money in his pocket.

In those days the man who spoke English took it all, it seemed.

It reminded me of what also happened then, since it was something almost similar.

A Chinese fancier came over with his brother. His brother was the interpreter. He too asked me to write down the price, which I did.

That was in Dutch guilders but what did the interpreter do?

He told his brother those were dollars I found out later. And then a dollar was almost 2 guilders.

How could he do that to his own brother?



Then there was this Dutchman.

He had saved some money to buy some pigeons from a Belgian champion. He had bought pigeons there before and was happy with them.

So to the Belgian champ he went again, accompanied by a novice who wanted to become a pigeon fancier.

But when they were there they were shocked to hear that the price was almost 300 percent more than before.

The Belgian champion apologised and said he was not to blame. He had made a deal with Pipa and part of the agreement was that from now on he would make his birds very expensive; 500 euro each.

Businesswise this is understandable but isnot this very bad for the sport?

The Dutchman went home with a sick stomach and I am afraid his friend would never become a fancier.

We all have to support and promote the sport.

The Pipa boys deserve respect for what they have achieved, but...    


Deprive the common people from a chance to buy pigeons at reasonable price is more or less immoral. It makes fanciers quit and others reluctant to become a fancier. And that is the last thing we want now that our sport is in a crises. .


Of course it is better for Pipa when birds are sold at very high prices, but it is kind of killing the sport.  



In my imagination I see the following thing happen.

The champion phones.

"Hello Nikolaas. Are you ok?"

"Yes, things are fine here."

"Great. I want to ask you something. Some people want to buy pigeons. Can I sell them?"

"Are those people Chinese? In that case you must charge much money."
"No they are Dutch."

"Do they want many birds?"

"No just a few."

"Okay you may sell them, but we have a deal, you know."

"Right, but I cannot charge my friend 1,000 euro for 2 babies since he bought birds here before and he is a simple workman with little money. "

"I am sorry but a deal is a deal."



If money is a problem you just have to be smart. And if you are smart you can still buy good birds at reasonable price.

In winter you can bid on numerous vouchers in Holland and Belgium. The money is for the club and the voucher entitles you to get a bird from the man who donated it.

And these vouchers are mostly very cheap.

It happens that you can get a voucher for a baby for 40 or 50 euro from a champion who normally charges 300 euro or more!

It makes me think of what happened two years ago.

A Taiwanese wanted to buy babies from a Dutchman.

"Those are 300 euro each" the Dutchman said.

I was shocked when I heard this and tried to persuade the Taiwanese not to pay this, since no Dutchman would pay so much for pigeons of this man.

Why the Taiwanese absolutely wanted those birds I did not understand but he did buy them.  

Some months later I saw the Dutchman at a pigeon show. In front of him was a basket full of birds. They were for sale for 50 euro each.

He had sold ONE pigeon in total. That was what his assistant told me. He himself suddenly had to go to the toilet when he saw me. The same man had donated a voucher but there were no bids...   



Some decades ago the Japanese came to buy our pigeons. Later on the Taiwanese came and today the Chinese buy all they can buy.

Money seems to be the least problem.

Who could have thought this some decades ago?

But recently there is a new market. The Arab Emirates and Iraq. One middle man alone shipped 800 birds to Iraq this year.

And once again some fellow country men proved to be good business men. After they visited China with catalogues, photos and brochures to push their birds they discovered this new market.

So to Dubai, Qatar and so on they went.

Going to Iraq in order to try and sell birds?

That is also unbelievable indeed.