There is this saying about small minds being amused by small things… and it may be what you will think after I relate this little tidbit about our initial weeks in the Great South Land.
You have heard about my amusement with an honesty tin, my joy at being able to put petrol on my own car and how quick self checkouts are. Now the time has come to tell you about the garbage trucks!
The streets are allocated to certain days of the week, and once a week the garbage truck comes around to pick up the rubbish and every second week the recycle bin. Nothing new so far. We know it don’t we? And so I was expecting the same with a cacophony of sounds that used to accompany the rumbling of the engine. But no, it is only the truck, with two steering wheels, and a metal arm, which picks up the bin, lifts it up and dumps the contents in the big container.
I think, in many little boys’ lives, they have this dream to become a garbage truck driver, because it surely looks like an awesome job, being able to drive something that has all these bits and bobs that do outside what you make them do inside the cockpit.
Just this afternoon myself and my four year old stood for a good ten minutes and watched one of those trucks pick up an industrial container, much bigger than a rubbish bin and tip it over, and then the driver gave us a big smile and wave.
I can tell you that it is not only me, who are fascinated by the garbage trucks. When we had our first visitors all of them made a beeline for the door and windows when it was trash days and they heard the engine down the street.
I had a similar experience with the machine that sweeps the streets. I was also initially taken aback by ladies moving mulch off the back of a ute with shovels. Work is work, and as long as you do it well, and you do it with pride, you will be right, mate.
Dear Migrant to the Great South Land,
Many of your ideas of how things should be, will be challenged here. Your kids may look at the garbage truck driver with a certain awe that you are not accustomed to. (You may also look at him and somedays wish you were him!) The cleaning ladies is the mall who look very much like your mother, is doing it because she just wanted to do something that would keep her busy.
The enjoyment of this country is in the little things. And though there may be many things that could be better, I think there are plenty good going on, you just need to stand still, wave to the truck driver and smile. You will make his day, and you will feel great as well. Friendships are waiting to happen.
See you soon.