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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Body Bags

In some neighborhoods, you have to buy city-approved garbage bags in which to throw your trash. (I believe the purpose is to deter people from having too much garbage.) If you don't, you may be fined up to 300,000 won ($270), or you may have to incur the wrath of the dumpster supervisor at your apartment building.

After ignoring this custom and just dealing with the latter of the two punishments for a couple of months, I decided to start buying the correct garbage bags. The first time, I was successful at purchasing them from my local convenience store. I asked for the smallest ones (10L) and they fit perfectly. The second time I asked for the bags and then put up my fingers to signal "10" as in "10 liters" and the woman nodded happily. Unfortunately, in Korea the numbers are a little different (something about Chinese characters, I dunno, but I've noticed my students struggle with expressing numbers in English). Anyways, she gave me the bags all folded up and I paid. It cost about $15 for 5 trash bags, which was more expensive than the previous time and seemed a little fishy but I wasn't exactly in a place to argue. I took them home, opened them up, and lo and behold they were 100 liter bags! In case you're wondering how big that is, I was able to step inside it and could probably have a seat in there.

After a month of using as much trash as possible (thanks, in part, to being sick and using thousands of tissues), I am down to my last 100 liter bag. And now that I have only one body-sized garbage bag left, I'm considering who to kill....

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