Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Today I watched a woman walk around her yard with a plastic bag picking up all of the leaves, but not picking up the two beer bottles, piece of paper, and plastic wrapper. As an American all of the litter everywhere here really bothers me and I can’t understand how a culture that is meticulously clean in other aspects doesn’t care about trash in their yards and on their streets. The dirt roads literally sparkle with all the pieces of broken glass on them. When I observe foreign cultures I am usually able to think “okay, not the way I would do it, but I kind of get it.” For example, my family peels their oranges with a knife, rather than their fingers (and won’t let me use my fingers to peel oranges), but perhaps this has health values in a culture where people don’t wash their hands particularly often. Or frying everything in 2-3 inches of cooking oil. Yuck, but perhaps in a culture where the diet is mostly carbs (and empty carbs at that—white bread and rice), this oil is an essential source of extra nutrients and fats. But the trash thing I just can’t wrap my mind around. I just can’t understand why nobody cares that their country is covered in trash.

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