Friday, June 24, 2011

Clearing up rubbish is someone else's job

Spaniards have many excellent qualities to commend them; they are warm and friendly, compassionate and caring and definitely fun loving. One thing they are not though is litter conscious as those councils that are facing the task of clearing up after the night of San Juan can probably testify to.

Actually, a walk down the street after any fiesta will show you that Spaniards regard the road as their waste bin, a place that someone else will clear up after they have gone. It is the same with the people who drive up to Villas Andrea and sit chatting by the park. When they leave, the road and the park are strewn with empty bottles, cigarette packets, pizza boxes, paper etc. That is in spite of the fact that the rubbish bins are just a few strides away round the corner.

Actually there were rubbish bins on posts by the benches on the way down to the town which the council used to empty regularly, that is until the vandals snapped them off and threw them over the fence onto the land beyond. Now the rubbish just gets thrown on the pavement to mix in with the dog dirt.

I was always taught to either put rubbish in a bin or, if there wasn’t a bin nearby, in my pocket until I got home - I still do that without even thinking about it. Dropping any sort of rubbish on the ground is therefore alien to me. I remember sitting in a bar in Bigastro with a friend who was smoking a cigar. He asked the owner for an ashtray and she told him to use the floor. He could not bring himself to do that and had to literally insist on having an ashtray which she reluctantly brought him.

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