Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Good Deed?

Backstory #1 - Here in China, you don't really have to recycle. People just throw everything away in the same bags.
But, there are people who will go through the trash and collect all the plastic bottles. They take it to some place to get cash. You see a lot of homeless people digging through trash for the plastic.
Backstory #2 - I live in an apartment community. It's a nice place. I like it. Because it is clean......unlike the majority of the city.
It is clean because every building in the community has a woman that comes every morning and takes care of the building. These women will mop all the hallways, empty the ashtrays, and then go out and mop the sidewalks that go through the community.
Backstory #3 - The woman that works in our building has picked up the habit of following me to the trash bins. When she sees me get off the elevator, she drops her mop and follows me. I put my trash in the big bin and then she digs into the bin, rips open my trash and takes out all of my plastic bottles.
I drink a LOT of water. So, maybe I'm the plastic bottle jackpot? I don't know. But, I'm a germaphobe........so, I REALLY hate watching her dig through the garbage.


So, today I decided to do something about it. I gathered up all of my plastic bottles and took the elevator downstairs. The whole time I was thinking, "you really shouldn't dig around in trash. So gross. And creepy. Following me to look through my trash is slightly creepy."
The elevator door opened. The woman saw me and leaned her mop against the wall, but I just walked right up to her and handed her the bottles.
Me: Here. (I know she doesn't speak English, but I didn't know what else to say.....)
Her: Hao. Xie xie. Hao. Hao. (Good. Thank you. Good. Good. The accents are missing from the words, but you get the idea........)

And then she gave me two little bows and walked away. So, I walked outside to wait for Jessica (we go walking on most mornings).
Her reaction surprised me. Because, suddenly, I felt like I had done a really good deed. I mean, I came downstairs on a mission to stop her from digging through my trash. But, now I feel good cause I obviously made her happy.

I guess I'm going to start separating my trash again. Plastic bottles go to the woman.....everything else goes to the bin.
Good deed? It kind of feels like it..............

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