Spare Change and Garbage

18 07 2009

Toronto is in the middle of a city workers strike. I think it’s been going on for about 3 weeks. What this means is that garbage is not being picked up, city parks are closed, and my condo occupancy was delayed. Ugh. This has got to be the most unsympathetic strike in the history of striking. Obviously, I don’t have all the facts, but I think it has something to do with banked vacation days. Um…banked vacation days?! REALLY!! In the midst of the greatest global economic meltdown of the last 50 years, while people are losing their jobs AND their homes, our city workers are complaining about the fact that they can’t bank their vacation days! Really quite unbelievable. Where is the gratitude?

So far it hasn’t been too bad. When I heard about it, I envisioned piles of garbage…like in Naples a little while ago. I guess there are private companies hired to pick up most of the garbage, but with the strike wearing on, Yonge Street is starting to get pretty stinky. Count our blessings that Toronto has been unusually dry and cool this summer.

I’ve been in Toronto now for about a month, and one thing I am still having trouble getting adjusted to (besides the garbage), is people asking for spare change. I think it is this more than anything that has made me realize that I can’t really call myself a true Torontonian anymore. I am shocked anytime anyone asks me for change…because it just doesn’t really happen too often in Asia.

Between this, the piles of garbage, the 15% tax rate, and the obligation to tip service staff for subpar service, I’m about ready to head on back to Korea…




One response

18 07 2009

Couldn’t agree more. Though I have a tad more anger. I was born in Toronto but haven’t lived there for more than a decade.

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