A week ago me and my family went to the bottle bank. It was the highlight of the week. Bottle bin day. Usually we throw empty bottles into the general trash because we are too lazy to carry them across the city center to one of the few deposit sites. But with corona restrictions still in place more exciting things are for now out of reach.
So we went out of our way to put on our best clothes, nicely polished shoes and had a coffee to hype us up for what would be one the more exhilarating experiences of the winter. Especially my little daughter was beaming with glee knowing what would happen at the bottle bank. With these expectations we left the house.
Soon we reached the city center and with that the ubiquitous face mask zone. As there was almost no one around (why would they all the shops are closed anyway and it is still winter) we defiantly kept our mouths uncovered to breath in the fresh cold air. It was riveting to know that at any moment self-proclaimed mask inspectors (i.e. people with too much time and not enough happiness) could call us out in public for polluting the city with our exhalations. But we made it safely to the bottle bank and my daughter ran screaming towards the bins.
There were bins for white glass, brown glass and even green glass. Marvelous. Soon we were busy unpacking the jars and bottles with joyful clinking sounds. I lifted my daughter onto my arms while my wife gave her the bottles. She was delighted to let them slide into the opening until she heard the satisfying sound of crashing glass. Other parents joined with their children (in safe distance of course) to watch the spectacle. We already had a small queue behind us with other children anxiously waiting to throw their bottles into the bins.
Our good deed for the environment done, and with a lot of fun too, we went home. Emboldened and happy with our experience we thought to go straight through the city’s pedestrian zone now usually empty due to the closed shops. We went merrily our way, talking and joking about the bottles and their different sounds when an elderly couple began zeroing in on us. “YOU HAVE TO WEAR A MASK HERE” the woman screamed.
I was worried because she started to hyperventilate and the upper part of her face became hot red. Clearly what she witnessed was a crime of immense proportions. People were breathing unobstructed in a large pedestrian street with at most a dozen people in visual range. With immense satisfaction I told her that “the police currently does not hire retirees due to budget cuts” and with that I left her fuming.
I was not going to let some nutters ruin bottle bin day. They clearly did not understand that those FFP2 masks the nice people in our government made available to the elderly for free (well a few pieces anyway) actually protect them from crazy people like me. We could sing, dance, hug and mingle as much as we like because those who want to can now protect themselves.
Our way home ended without further incident and we laughed and talked all the way home. Before we went upstairs I gave my daughter two valuable lesson for her future.
“Don’t be afraid to live and die because if you do you are dead already.”
“Be responsible for yourself because then you don’t have to yell at strangers.”
She gave me a strange look and demanded a cookie. Well she is only 2 maybe I’ll keep the lessons for later. And I learned a lesson as well:
There are more important things in life. Like recycling with little children for example.