We are flying back to the States on Friday and there is still so much I want to still tell you about Austria.
Austria recycles, on average, over 60% of household waste. We recycle just about everything: compost, cooking oil, batteries and every kind of metal, paper or plastic. We’ve got, maybe, one small bag of trash per week. That’s it.
Now, it’s true, our entrance hall is an obstacle course of overflowing plastic bins, but it is a small price to pay.
In coffee shops, most people choose proper ceramic cups and sit down to drink their beverage. Sure, paper cups are being seen more and more, but it is rare to see someone walking down the street sipping from a cup. In fact, until recently most cars didn’t even have cupholders!
And though there are people on laptops in coffee shops, most people are socializing. Imagine, sitting down and conversing with other human beings! I remember we used to do that in America before we succumbed to the big nursing tit of Starbucks, wrapped in paper cups made from a billion dead trees, distracted by free wifi, treacley liquids dispensed in such sickening quantities that we need a to-go cup because it is just too much to drink at one time. No one should drink 20 ounces of warm, sweetened milk. There, I said it. Come to Austria and you will get a delicious coffee drink that won’t make you bloat and fart and put on pounds of lactose-fueled lard. 20 ounces, indeed.
Grannies on bikes.
Where are all the old people in America? I don’t see them walking down the street, in public places. Oh, yes, sure I do, but not in the ratio there population would suggest. Here, old people are everywhere, and they are going places, man. Chugging down the street, filling the stores and parks and street benches and public transportation. On mopeds, on bicycles. Oh, yes, bikes. And you better watch out, buster, because there are serious geriatric peddalers out there. They cruise to the farmers markets, church, grocery store. They are not leisure riders, they ride to live.
And grannies too. There is nothing so gratifying as to see a beautiful septuagenarian pass you on her 1960-era street cruiser as you, youngster that you are, sit stuck in traffic in your doddering Volkswagen Golf. It definitely makes you reconsider choices you’ve made.
15% of all the world’s fresh water is in Austria. To put that into perspective, the U.S. has 3%. I will miss the .29 cent 2 ½ liter bottle of sparkling, pure mineral water that we get everywhere here.
16% of farmland is organic here in Austria, the most of any country in the world.
Well, this has been kind of a lame ending to this blog, but I’m having a hard time concentrating. I am getting ready to start a new life and am looking forward. Thanks for reading!