An odd thing I discovered when we first moved to China is that the trashcans are tiny. Maybe it's because most kitchens are tiny too. It didn't bother me in the beginning but just forced me to take the trash out a little more often. Even that didn't bother me because all taking out the trash involved was tying up the bag and putting it outside our apartment door for the maintenance guys to pick up. I don't even have to climb the four flights of stairs out of my apartment building to throw it in the dumpster. What makes the set up even better is that one morning, I discovered a kind neighbor had donated a discarded tile and a wooden box lid to my front door stoop so I could put my trash bag could rest there while waiting for its final journey to the big trashcan in the sky. Could it get any better?
But then we got a dog. A dog who like to stick her nose in anything and eat anything. Including my trash. Nary a day went by that I wasn't chasing her as she fled from the kitchen with a contraband egg shell or discarded cabbage leaf in her mouth. I thought I was outsmarting her when I bought a trashcan with a lid. But alas, this was the scene that I unfortunately continue to deal with:
But then I went to a local market with my friend Tao Sha the other day. We meandered past a restaurant supply store and, amidst the commercial waffle makers (random) and soft ice cream dispensers, I spotted it--the mother of all trashcans! It was only $10, and I knew it had to be mine. The salespeople were terribly perplexed why I only wanted one. I didn't even attempt to explain to them that it is for personal use. I lugged my booty home and presented it to Beans. Ha! Take that, puppy!
My other favorite thing about my trashcan is the easy-to-follow directions on top. Push. Why, thank you, I think I will. But laugh as you may, those directions actually came in handy to my little 6 year-old friend, Clara when her family came over for dinner on Friday. She asked me where she could throw away her trash and I pointed to my behemoth of a trashcan. "How does it work?" she asked, most likely due to the fact that she's never seen a trashcan that she herself could fit inside. Upon my prompting, she used her newly cultivated reading skills: "Push. Oh, now I get it." Let's just hope that Beans never learns to read like Clara.
So there's one area of my life that I've now seemed to de-stress somewhat. Just trying to simplify as much as possible until those two little men come and shake things up a bit!