Aug 2, 2004, 1:09 PM
Post #3 of 15
You know, NE, you have the beginnings of a good idea here but I say that with one caveat. If you are not careful, the kids you will be paying to recycle will simply empty properly filled municipal garbage cans into the street, fetching whatever is recyclable and leaving the rest of the garbage for the dogs to scatter.
This reminds me of our brother-in-law's comments regarding an honor apricot orchard near Zion National Park in Utah. He and my wife's sister live in Paris and they have lived in France all of their lives. They were visiting us for a trip about the Western U.S. from our home in Sonoma County, California. We were driving toward Zion when we happened upon this apricot orchard where the trees were absolutely filled with delicious apricots and the orchard managers had simply put out a sign inviting passers-by to stop, pick the amount of apricots desired, weigh them on the scale provided at the gate and leave the appropriate payment in a shoe box located on a table near the entrance to the orchard. This was strictly on an honor system and no one manned the sales point. He was beside himself with astonishment. He indicated that, in France, if you set up an honor system such as that the French would not only not pay you for the apricots they took but would steal the money left by others plus the scale. To a Frenchman, such a system was beyond comprehension. For those of you not from the Western United States, this is a fairly common arrangement and is largely honored by all.
Later, as we crossed the California border on our way home and the agricultural inspectors at the California border, concerned about fruit fly infestation, asked if we had any fruit, I indicated that we, indeed had some apricots in the trunk that we had purchased in Utah. Of course, Utah turned out to be a banned fruit crop area and the California authorities confiscated the apricots. Our in-laws plus their kids were totally blown away that, despite the fact that it was extremely unlikely that these agricultural inspectors would ever search our car if I said we had no fruit, I had fessed up to having some. Apparently, no Frenchman in his right mind would have sacrificed the anticipated apricot tart upon arrival home because some low level state functionary asked the question as to whether or not we were importing fruit from other states.
Always use caution in dealing with those in other cultures with whom you are unfamiliar. Stay a while and mellow out. Gringo money behind a positive municipal venture may end up in the pockets of some who are opportunistic and unconcerned with your aims.
(This post was edited by Bubba on Aug 2, 2004, 2:40 PM)