Today I went to the gym and took the recycling with me. This is normal procedure for me as the recycling dumpster-thingys are across the street from the gym and recycling is one of my chores hobbies. The dumpster-thingy was full and quite a few people had put their recycling around it so I did the same. I then went to the gym and had a lovely workout, in case you’re interested, returned home and went about my day.

As Jake & I were leaving later on, we noticed something in our mailbox and got excited, as most people do when they find mail in their mailbox (most of our bills are drafted so we aren’t bothered with pesky payment notices). Unfortunately, upon examination, the paper in question appeared to be some sort of notice or ticket. We put it back in the mailbox to be investigated further at a later time. When we returned home Jake brought the slip upstairs with us and began an hour-long process of deciphering terrible handwriting, typing possible words into Google translator, and attempting different spellings to account for the fact that no one, including French people, can spell in French. After using Google street view to look at an address on the notice/ticket – not ours – it appears that I received a ticket for 35 euros – nearly $50 – for abandoning trash. We are assuming that one of the RECYCLABLE papers in the bag I left RIGHT NEXT TO THE RECYCLING DUMPSTER-THINGY had our name and address on it and I was therefore cited for this offense.

Let’s leave aside the fact that the dumpster-thingy was FULL for a moment and dwell on the fact that this city is covered in trash. I’m serious. There is trash everywhere. It is gross, actually. I know Europe has this reputation for being environmentally conscious but they have the Germans and Swiss to thank for that, as far as I can tell most people in Marseille couldn’t care less about tossing their trash on the sidewalk and they certainly do not bother themselves to pick up after their dogs. If you picked up just the cigarette butts that cover the streets I have no doubt that they alone would weigh in the TONS. Why they are so concerned about my little recyclable bag of recyclables is utterly inexplicable.