Subject Code: EGYPT30023 (Capstone)
Tutor: Egyptian Mummy
Today’s Lecture: Littering 101
Have you tidied your room? After seeing the state of the streets today, you may want to consider it. Rubbish. Everywhere.
Seemingly, it has been instilled in the Egyptian culture that ‘littering’ is socially acceptable. Don’t need that plastic bag anymore? Chuck it on the floor. Banana Peel? toss it.
Driving over the piles of trash felt like speed bumps today. Some claim it is a result of a poor job by garbage removers, but I believe the root of the problem is the inherently casual attitude towards the issue. Unlike me, they simply do not view it as a big issue.
Call me old fashioned, but in Singapore not even the site of their incineration plant was this bad. Chewing gum is illegal due to fear of being stuck on property, littering a candy wrapper is a $300 fine first time – and approximately 19,000 people were punished last year!
From an ethnocentric point of view, how Egyptians accepts their dirty streets is inconceivable coming from one of the ‘cleanest’ cities in the world. Perhaps the harsh penalties I grew up with ingrained what I consider right and wrong; it is a small commitment to find a bin, but a large consequence if you don’t. With rats running around the garbage-filled Egyptian streets, it isn’t exactly a sanitary proposition either.
Taking cultural relativity into account, it may be unfair to criticise their behaviour. Having endured endless protesting and political turmoil – this litter issue may not be priority, and just be a blip on their radar.
Travel Tip: Egyptians may consider Melbourne’s graffiti ‘dirty’ yet we call it art, whilst Parisian ‘Love Locks’ are technically a form of vandalism. Consider, is any city truly clean?
On that note, you’re cleaning dishes tonight.