Garbage In, Garbage Out

Went back to the university yesterday afternoon for the verdict: they’re not going to give us our own teacher, we’re registered for one six-hour-a-week class, and we got half our money back. They’re happy because, between the two of us, we’re paying for 20 hours of class a week and taking 12. We’re happy because, for a relatively small investment of money and time, we’re getting our visas and freedom to learn the language our own way (a.k.a. “the RIGHT way” – just kidding!) So everyone’s happy…

Our house is right off a major street in town, and there’s always something going on there. Every night the whole area is just swarming with thousands of people. If you want to see something you’ve never seen before, just walk down the street, and you’ll find something sooner than later. Yesterday I saw a couple of boys who apparently tried to rob a couple of girls. One of the boys (maybe 12 years old) was caught by some random guy who smacked him, checked his pockets, and then zapped him with an electric stunner! That got a crowd together in a hurry.

One of the weirdest things that I began to notice on this street were the “garbage-can-checkers.” There’s probably a dozen people at any given time that comb this street on a route of some sort, peer into every garbage can they pass, and fish into it for… well, I never really figured out what they were fishing for, until one day one of them came up to me and asked me for the just-finished Sprite bottle I was carrying. These are the recyclers! They carry around huge sacks and cram every piece of plastic they can find inside. They brave all manner of filth to redeem said pieces of junk for trivial amounts of money. (that’s far enough, make your own sermon illustration) It’s a living, apparently reserved for the smallest of stature.

My wife, who is noticeably softer-hearted than I, has naturally started a “recycling-people” ministry. She saves up all our recyclable junk and when she has a couple grocery bags full, she marches out into the street armed with a tract (illegal, mind you), finds the most forlorn-looking person she can and bestows her plastic riches and her tract upon them. Of course, I frown upon this hyper-Calvinistic-God-like display of charity. But she really enjoys it – that’s what makes her an exceptionally nice person, and me… a sensible person.

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