Thursday, 24 May 2007

Come Clean

I've adjusted to the high prices and cold weather but the one thing that irks me about life in England is the litter. In Australia, if you litter, your branded a 'tosser' and the populace have a strong dislike for tossers. In England however, nobody minds a tosser. This is evident when you walk through any urban area. The streets are littered with cigarette butts, shopping bags, fast food packaging, beer cans, fizzy drink bottles and pages of newspaper.

My issue, apart from poor aesthetics, is litter doesn't break down. Imagine my suprise when I saw a tree adorned with eastern european-style Easter decorations in London.... it was actually a tree draped in litter. The Czech author, Ivan Klima highlighted the same issue in his novel Love and Garbage.

'No matter ever vanishes. It can, at most, change its form. Rubbish is immortal, it pervades the air, swells up in the water, dissolves, rots, disintegrates, changes into gas, into smoke, into soot, it travels across the world and gradually engulfs it.'

Yesterday I went into the country for a stroll. As I admired the countryside, I had a lingering feeling that something was amiss. Only when I returned to the train station did I realise there had been no litter. Perhaps I am starting to adjust!

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