Snow Storms and Trash Cans–Serbian StylePublished January 11, 2013 , By Laura
What really freaks me out these days is snow storms. It’s not because I hate snow, and cold weather in general, and am constantly sick. It’s not because it’s a
fucking nightmare hassle to get two little kids dressed for cold weather, from the steamy confines of my apartment. sweating inside my layers. Noooooo.
What, Laura? We’re all dyyyyying to know. What are you anxious about now?
All the old people! … Walking to the grocery story or farmer’s market (really, it’s a piaca, but no matter), shuffling along, on unshoveled, snow-covered, icy walkways.
Just one snowstorm, and I’ve already helped two grandpas up from a fall, and thank goodness no one broke a hip! There’s an aging population here in Serbia, and you’d think they’d calculate that it’s cheaper to hire some guys to shovel a sidewalk, than have the state-run health system pay for some poor deka’s hip replacement surgery!
Only in Serbia
Snow in Belgrade can put a beautiful white layer over all the minor city-suburb aesthetic infractions. But not so for the trash bin situation.
I wasn’t too disturbed by the communal trash dumpsters outside our apartment building. They get filled up, and even overflow, but the orange jump-suited trash personnel seem to do a good job of cleaning up any debrie. The dumpsters are not pretty, they’re certainly not sanitary. They’re handy, though … Those individuals looking to recycle cardboard, find old clothes, or other usable items, can easily reach in and get what they need. Good times.
But theeeen, ohhhh but then! A big bulldozer came to DIG! (And my kids had to watch for ten minutes before we were allowed to resume our walk.) The city was installing new-fangled fancy-pants trash bins. Cute, petite containers out-of-the-ground; HUGE trash storage capacity under the ground (I sound like Go Dog Go, jesus). No worries that city officials forgot to design an opening that would fit a normal household-sized trash bag–these babies were stainless steel!
Yes, they are lovely. Wait, wait, what’s that? They don’t look great to you?
Ohhhh, riiiiight. You’re just thrown by the ghetto-looking fence and the “Be Careful! Work going on!” sign; neither of which would stop a little grandma from falling six feet, by the way. (It’s not apparent from the picture, but the hole does go down about two meters; I already mentally pictured how bad the concussion would be if one of my kids happened to fall.)
After three weeks in this state, Surprise! Five guys arrive, taking turns filling the holes with dirt — one at a time, while the other four sit in the warm truck cab likely arguing who will have to go out in the bitter cold next.
No properly paved-over concrete yet. Stay tuned.
Lest you believe I’m totally ragging on Serbia in the winter, I will leave you with a beautiful sunset, if only to restore my good graces and leave you with thoughts of fluffy kittens, warm bread and soft blankets. Yea! Winter!