Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's the Scoop with the Poop?

You know when you move to a country with an open-mind, trying to accept everything as being "part of their culture," new, and somehow exciting because it's different? Well, you know how sometimes that just doesn't work out no matter how hard you try to accept it and just think of it as a cultural difference? That's exactly how I feel about the Spaniards tendency to let their dogs "caca" anywhere and everywhere they dang well please. Walking down the street is like playing a never-ending game of hopscotch, or a real-life version of Super Mario! Walk with your head up at your own risk! 

These dogs have the run of the mill over here, and it doesn't seem to phase many of the locals as much as I think it should. In the States, if someone doesn't have a little bag with them and pick up the poop of their dog from the sidewalk, you glare. You automatically categorize them as a douche or jerk, and hope they catch your scolding look. Here, it doesn't matter. Here, everyone does it.

In the total of 10 months I've lived in Spain (nine in the north in Bilbao, and now one so far here in the south in Sevilla), I have seen one person pick up their dogs poop (that I can remember), and it was a couple weeks ago. (Thank goodness too, because he had a German Shepherd, and those big dogs, man, they leave a nice pile for ya!) I've even watched people kick their dogs poop into the garden box where the tree grows on the sidewalk! But bend down and put it in the trash bin that's undoubtedly ten steps away? Not going to happen. I guess it can be explained by the fact that in many places they actually come through at night with high-pressure water sprayers and clean the streets, but not every single little street all over the city! Certain areas, sure, if it's going to be washed away by the morn', I suppose I can accept that, but in those areas where it will just sit and go through each and every phase of decomposition, and then still remain there, NO. Unacceptable. I just can't.

I have actually taken to avoiding certain parts of Mairena (the village that I am working in about 35 minutes outside Sevilla) because 10's of land mines is not on my "To-See In The Mornings" list. It's gross, and there's no other way to say it. I am not trying to turn you off to Spain, but just beware, if you come, pay attention where you're going. It's so hard, because you want to walk around with your head up, looking at all the splendor there is to see, but you also run the risk of returning to your sleeping quarters with some stanky feets.

I've even asked some locals, "Ok, so I just have to know, why is it that Spanish people let their dogs poop all over the sidewalks?" They didn't even know. It really is just a part of la vida Espanola. I think this explains a lot about humans in general and our behavior -- we do things, and we don't even know why. Could be anything. I know a lot of times I'll think, say, do, or want to do something, and think to myself, "Why? What the heck??" Human nature, gotta love it!

Today's Thoughts: Now I'm trying to think of things that people might go to our country and think, "I just don't understand why they do that." I'm thinking...obesity. And the tendency to live a tasteless life. ;-) Live it large, live it good, pay it forward, and as always... MAKE YOUR OWN REALITY! <3 

(Also, if anyone can shed some light on this grave mystery, please comment below. I'm always looking to understand those things that I don't, especially if you are coming from a local perspective! P&L)

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