Face down in the ditch
A sweat-covered man of medium height working hard. Life is truly comparable to the Estonian “ski-weather” (even though “ski-weather” has its brighter [read: cleaner] moments). The schedule is tight and kilometers rack up one by one. The preferred gas station is Olerex, the coffee of which is served in a Roadie cup (could it be that in the name of the cup we find the conflinct that subconsciously makes the drinker throw the empty cup out of the window…on the road?). To enjoy life to its full potential, one must use a ton of stimulants. Smoke a lot, preferrably Winston. Jolt the mind with an energy drink, sometimes substituting that with a long drink or a cider (preferably consumed from tin cans), rarely though is that, in turn substituted with harder measures of happiness – vodka. Bear in mind, it is not any type of local vodka. It is the produce of the eastern neighbours, go figure why it is so. The preference of taste or price?
Sometimes life steps on your toes. The CD in the car starts skipping and to calm your nerves you chuck the disk that grinds your gears out of the window. The life of a working man is not easy, especially when one has to work in the climate as harsh as in Estonia. Worker’s gloves are consumed in numbers, the warm Tamrex brand gloves or the cheap no-name ones. And one is in a constant hurry all the time, who cares about a glove, a shoe or a sock that’s left behind, as long as the round shape you could call a head is safe and sound between your shoulders. You’d have to eat as well (mouth stuck to the head, head to the body – no escaping that). One would love eating a warm sandwich, one made in a Foreman’s grill. Apparently one of these people had a lot of trouble with it and sent it out on its way as well. Life is tough and rarely one has something to lay on his bread, a small hot-dog on occasion. Sometimes life suddenly becomes all too fast that other “road residents” get in your way and pieces of you trail behind from the sudden confrontation….other than that it’s cool to be on the road. The wind in your ears clears your mind. Oh, how truly beautiful Estonia is.
It’s Saturday, a beautiful spring day. Everything you need is at hand : the sun, the warmth, fields on both sides of the road, junk in the ditches….! Connect the bucket to the tractor and let’s do this! The soul was in joy, even though the harsh knowledge of what was to come – cleaning of the roadside ditches from the junk that the drivers expel from their windows. Not a long strech of road, about three kilometers. Cleaning after our fellow man was not the (only) reason for our undertaking, the safety of the animals’ feed was at stake here. It is unacceptable for us to find remains of all kinds of packaging, glass shards, gloves, plastic bottles etc in our food. Animals feel that way too. The fact that he can’t explain to you that he doesn’t wish these additives in his food does not justify our carelessness. Our food must be tasty, good-looking, safe and free of foreign objects, theirs too. Their food must be in an ever better condition, for they are the producers of what we consume.
A couple hours of rummaging in the junk yielded a complete overview of the average commuter of the Tartu – Põlva road (see paragraph 1 for reference). Simple observations and the following deductions. Nothing personal or spiteful 🙂
Overall I can tell you that the amount of junk collected from the ditches filled 2-3 100-litre trash bags. Since the aforementioned road is taken daily only by a handful of people, the average commuter reputation should not be held against all Estonians and the amount of people who will not eject the remainders of consumption out of their windows is marginally smaller.
Thank you for caring !