Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Genes will out

'Save the earth' [translation = environmentalism] is a bit of a fringe issue out here for the weirdo types. [translation = granola heads] Packaging and it's excesses are quite extraordinary. When we first arrived, I found that many of the containers that ready prepared food is sold in, was of better quality than my 20 year old tupperware. Few such items are recycled in the conventional way, they're just thrown in the rubbish, [translation = trash] or in our case, take pride of place in the kitchen to replace the worn out Tupperware.

Like all ordinary house persons, [translation = home makers] I try and ensure that my household runs smoothly, clean towels at the ready, never run out of soap and or loo rolls. [translation = bathroom tissue {sub translation = note the magnitude of potential mis-understandings]

Out here, buying in bulk is the norm. [translation = regular way of going about things.] This means that you have either a garage, attic or basement filled to the brim with a wide variety of items. Each item is individually wrapped, wrapped or bound together with it's pals, [translation = guys?] and then double wrapped over the top just for extra safety. This means that you learn to shun kitchen scissors and head straight for the maschette. I find them in the garage together, next to the extremely large packet of 12 kitchen rolls. The hooligan and her assistant. I had to buy them because it was cheaper than buying a pair, because bargains force you to make peculiar purchases in America, even though I’ll be lucky if I get through one roll a month because using kitchen paper is wasteful and a drain on the environment. It’s an even greater environmental curse, that not only is the whole caboodle wrapped in thick plastic, but each individual roll underneath is also hermetically sealed in yet another layer of thick plastic.

I watch them for a moment or two, the vandals. Junior daughter tries ineffectually to poke her finger through two thick layers of plastic where the cardboard tube is. Her assistant demonstrates a superior method; a rigid finger and a powerful stabbing motion. She practices again and again until every roll has been punctured. I should give them both a good smack. She looks up at me and grins. So does Nonna.

No comments: