Mar 03 2019

The Case of Edinburgh

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:10

I’ve first visited Edinburgh in 2016. I don’t remember the address exactly, but it was somewhere around Holyrood and really close to Craigmiller’s castle. The apartment I rented with my friends for a week, was at the ground level, it was quite old but well maintained and across the street from the building there was a big green area, where kids would play football and adults would walk their dogs. It was really cozy and gave you the impression of an area where you would want to live when you retire. It was clean and green and about 30 minutes walking distance from the craziness of the city center. I loved that little neighborhood, I loved the Holyrood Park and I even loved the noisy city center. I loved Edinburgh just enough to conclude that I could live there. And three years later I made the move.

Only, as everybody tells you, visiting and living here are two different things. When I decided to move here I was prepared for a lot of changes. And it was not a smooth ride, I’ve lost quite a lot of money because of bad decisions, my cat almost died, there have been some struggles at work as well, because it’s no easy to adapt to a new project, new team, new rules. I sprained my knee and I got so panicked because I did not know anybody here really, nobody that could bring me a tea if I’m ever bed ridden. But slowly I eased into it. I started running again. I started playing piano again. And I also started doing new things like practicing yoga and playing football. So I could say I’ve pretty much adapted at this point.

And since I’ve mentioned running I’ve finally found an introduction point for the topic of this entry. During the week I am running two miles a day in a park closer to my office named The Meadows. During the weekend I am running on a bike pathway, that is flanked by two green lanes, it’s like a park, that just has one pathway and connects two neighborhoods. You can see it in the image below. It is about 4.3 mile long and I’ve never run from its start to end, because I live close to its middle.

But I digress. Looking at the map, you would not realize that is a green area. Sure, it intersects with a few parks, but in itself it does not really look like a park. During the summer this pathway is great, it is all green and full with people walking their dogs or their kids and cyclists. During the autumn, the green areas are delicious, because they are full with blackberry and raspberry vines. I can barely run during autumn, because I cannot stop myself from stopping to pick and eat them. During winter and spring it gets sad though, because all foliage is gone revealing the sad situation. Under all the vines and trees there is a lot of litter, to the amount of looking like a garbage dump litter. I get annoyed every time I run during winter and spring because I cannot wrap my head around it. This pathway does not traverse poor or troubled neighborhoods, quite the opposite, so since good livelihood tends to be associated with education, you would think educated people wouldn’t litter like this right? Well, turns out all there are assholes everywhere, regardless of how expensive their houses are and regardless of how high-class a neighborhood is. Below you have a gallery of pictures I have taken today on my morning run.

In Romania some people (most) litter because they follow the following logic: “I pay taxes. People that clean up are payed from my taxes. So they should do their damn job.” So it’s their revenge for being forced to pay taxes. Which is ridiculously absurd, because poor nature is not at fault.

So why do people of Edinburgh litter? I have no bloody idea. Sure, you can blame the council for not installing enough garbage bins on that pathway, and not hiring enough people to clean up. But you know what would happen if the council would do that? Probably taxes will increase. Is that really preferable to managing your own trash?

Seriously, that pathway looks like a garbage dump, and since the green area around it sometimes converges with parks and green areas adjacent to some nice neighborhoods, the garbage spreads too. One of my running partners lives in one of these fancy neighborhoods, and it is so sad to see that one of the boundaries of this neighborhood is a hill full of litter.

And all this, in a civilized country where fines for littering are quite consistent.

When I was little, my family was piss poor. My family is still piss poor, but me and my sister got it good, so we help here and there. No matter how poor we were my mother was always obsessed with keeping the house clean, with keeping us clean. She always said that: “We are piss poor, but at least we should be clean”.  And boy that was drilled into my mind, to this day I cannot stand having my house dirty, or my clothes, or me. Or my garden now that I have one. Or my desk, or my bloody neighborhood!!! Sure, I do not own the neighborhood, and optimistic people might say that I am not poor, but the obsession remains.

Also, I’m not sure about normal people, but I do not feel comfortable living in a garbage dump.  If I would have a kid or a dog, I would feel like shit to take them to the park and use that pathway, because it looks disgusting. I already feel disgusted when I go for a run. How would you explain all that to a kid? How can you teach a kid not to litter when you are taking him for a walk in garbage dump? You probably don’t and  that is how we get adults that litter.

And the biggest shock I had was when I went back to Dublin. I remembered Dublin being squalid. I chose Edinburgh to move into, because it was green and clean. Well, it’s not so clean anymore, and it’s sad to close this entry with this conclusion.

Stay safe, stay happy, stay clean and keep the environment around you clean!

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