Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When it Rains, Garbage Pours

Welcome to Rio, the laziest city in the world! I know you’re probably thinking that your city is lazier. Trust me, I’ve been to your city, and my city beats your city every time.

I have lived in countries where people take off for two hours after lunch to sleep, others where people’s favorite pastime is not moving. I know people whose hobby it is to lay down and sleep wherever they happen to be. But still, nothing compares to how lazy people are here.

I say this because yesterday the whole city flooded and people were making make-shift boats in order to get around. The catch is that the flood didn’t happen because a damn broke, or because of a hurricane, or tsunami, or because there are no drains in the city. It flooded because the drains were stopped up with garbage.

People here are so lazy they not only take 1000 days off a year in holidays and vacation, but they don’t make the slightest effort to throw trash in the trash can. How hard is it to walk over to the fluorescent orange trash can and throw your wrapper or can in? This is the one city where people are so lazy they prefer to wade through garbage filled water when it floods than to keep the streets clean. They prefer to “get creative” and make rafts out of floating garbage, than throw it away in the proper place to begin with. Oh, yeah, we’re really resourceful. We can make anything out of garbage; after all, it’s floating all around us, and often times hitting you in the face.

The other day I was walking through the park and a father was walking with his son and they were drinking a Coke. The father finished his drink and then he threw the can on the floor. Here’s the part that’s really ridiculous, the trash can was 3 ft away, and he did this with his son standing right next to him. Can you believe it? I know I didn’t. I just stood there looking dumb-stuck and then walked over and picked up his can and threw it in the trash right in front of him. You won’t believe what happened next, but I’ll tell you anyway because it’s just that unbelievable, he got mad at me. We had a friendly argument where he threatened to kill me and I told him he represented all the evil in our society and the decline of our species, (not really, but we did exchange stressed although polite words). I did complain that he was teaching his son that even though there’s a trash can nearby, no need to use it, because someone will come by and pick it up eventually.

As it so happens, there’s not always someone to come by and pick it up and that’s when things happen, like yesterday’s flood just to name an example that’s fresh in my mind. The entire city was stopped for hours and all because the people of Rio (bless their hearts) were too damn lazy to pick up a couple of pieces of paper and throw them in the can. It’s a sad, sad day when entire countries in God-forsaken Africa are cleaner and better kept than our beautiful, tropical paradise.

We insist on destroying what’s beautiful (our city, the Amazon, the beaches) and one day, if we’re not careful, floods will be the least of our worries.


M.D. said...

stoooooopid flood

Leticia Moraes said...

like my gym doctor said, we (meaning us human beings) are like evil bacterias destroying our planet (bichinhos do mal!) I like that! So true!

Marcio Amaral said...

Good point but I think you're missing the bright side. Where else can you find canoa pirata @ R$1? This is mass transportation ingenuity at its paramount. Long live RJ. Are you paulista???