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The Rubbish of Daily Life and How it Affects People and Places of Interest

The one thing that really irritates me is rubbish strewn all over the street.

I was on the bus the other day, going from point A to point B in Vicenza and minding my own business. I was looking through the bus’s large window, but not actually paying attention to what was going on. I was happy in my own inner world.

That’s it until a man walked past. He wasn’t special in any way to make me consciously look at him. He just threw a piece of paper on the street and walked away, like it was the most normal thing. Like there was an army of cleaning machines following each step that he deigned to make, picking quickly and efficiently every piece of rubbish that he carelessly disposed of.

It was enough to snap me back into reality. Irritated by this man’s act of complete ignorance, I stared him in the back until the bus drove away. I also used some very choice words in my mind about him.

Why, why do you throw your rubbish on the street?

Who do you think is obliged to clean after you?

Why do you think we all should put up with the rubbish you create?

The Wondrous Rocks - Bulgaria -

This summer, my husband and I had a rather unpleasant experience.

I was very eager to go and see for myself a natural phenomenon in my home country of Bulgaria called the Wondrous Rocks (Чудните скали). It is a group of rocks with a very unusual look which are positioned right on the edge of a huge dam.

On paper, the idea was great – we were to drive for an hour and a half, reach the dam, admire the rocks and then, perhaps, spend the day on the beach there and swim a bit. It was a really hot summer, you know.

As we were driving to the rocks, I was reminiscing about a similar road trip a couple of years ago. We were traversing France in our little red car and by chance we came across a stunning lake called Voglans. We stopped and on a whim we had a little paddle in its crystal-clear waters. It was one of the highlights of that trip.

So, imagine my shock, when we finally reached the Wondrous Rocks only to find that the area around these absolutely beautiful rocks was

strewn with rubbish

which could make you heave.

The side of the road, where the cars stop for people to come out, stretch their legs and admire the Wondrous Rocks, had a deep layer of crumpled tissues, plastic bottles and any other such rubbish which people can quickly, easily and without any thought, dispose of through the open windows and doors of their cars.

Still, eager to explore, we followed the short path to the small beach facing the rocks.

It was a tip!

It looked like people would come to spend the evening at the beach but would forget to take their litter home with them. The remnants of several fire pits were lined up with discarded plastic wrappers, bottles and bags.

The teal water of the dam, which had looked so inviting when we first spotted it from the car, was dotted with several pieces of rubbish, too. To the point that right along the shore, there was a thick line of sludge, which would discourage even the least health-conscious swimmer from getting in.

Dejected, we retreated to the car and drove home.

Unfortunately, this is

not an isolated incident

and it, definitely, doesn’t affect only some countries. For I still remember with certain nausea the three days which I once spent in Paris, which turned out to be so different from the image we all have embedded in us of this beautiful and amazing romantic place. In all honesty, it would have been beautiful had it not been for the rubbish on the streets and the people openly using the pavements to pee on them.

This was back in 2008, perhaps it is better now. I wouldn’t know though, as I am in no hurry to return.

The Arcade of Palazzo Angaran - Vicenza, Veneto, Italy -

And, Vicenza – I love this city a lot and its central part is usually quite pristine, but every time I pass by the Palazzo Angaran just off the Ponte dei Angeli, I get really upset.

The palazzo is one of my most favourite buildings in this beautiful Northern Italian town. I love its facade with its faded frescoes and I love its double arcade. Unfortunately, the arcade is littered with all sorts of rubbish which, ideally, should have ended in a rubbish bin.

But it hasn’t. It was instead thrown out to litter and degrade.

And I want to ask some

harsh questions here:

Are you one of those people who throw their rubbish on the street for other people to trip on it, step on it, try to walk around it and, generally, feel disgusted by it?

Are you one of those people who find it perfectly acceptable to throw rubbish from the open window of your car, as you drive past, as you subscribe to the theory that ‘out of your car is out of you mind’?

If you are, then

shame on you.

I, honestly, can’t use soothingly diplomatic words to describe the damage that you do to other people and to the environment that we all have to share. And I want you to know that I am, quite frankly, disgusted not so much by your rubbish, but by you.

I know that words don’t work on people like you. I can talk about ecology and recycling, and the like, all to no avail. My only explanation is that people like you, people who freely throw their rubbish on the street, are the people whose soul is quite rubbish-strewn. I can’t find any other reason as to why you are so disrespectful to other people, to nature and, most importantly, to yourself.


P.S. As they say on the London Underground: ‘Please, take your litter with you’. There are better ways to dispose of it than to throw it on the street.


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