I have a thing about litter.
Another lifetime ago I lived in Chiswick, in West London. I loved the area, but it was a messy place with piles of builders rubble, that passed for gentrification.
One day I was walking down to Chiswick High Road, when a car window opened in front of me, and the occupant threw a cigarette packet out. Without thinking, I bent down, picked up the packet, and threw it back through the car window. I hate litter, it was an obvious thing to do, it seemed right.
I kept on walking, but hadn’t got more than a stride or two before a huge roar erupted behind me, followed by the sound of a car door opening. These are occasions when one should probably act before thinking, but I turned, looked, and thought….”that man is big and angry”. Yes, I legged it.
I am thinking about this story now because we have moved into a lovely new area, in Greenwood Village, in Colorado. And there is no litter. By which I mean, NO litter.
This is the cleanest place I have ever seen. I have spent time in Singapore, where they literally lock you up for dropping chewing gum, but I have never seen anywhere as clean as South Galena Street. I haven’t seen any litter collectors, and there are very few waste bins, but there is no rubbish what so ever. Yes Middle Class Middle Americans take much more pride in what is around them.
At first impression these estates are nothing like anywhere in England.
First of all our estate has a great name, hey Sundance Hills has a much better ring to it than Walnut Close, or Gaveston Gardens. Well perhaps Mr Gaveston has some kind of story attached as well.
I keep wanting to tell people……I live in Sundance Hills. It just feels good.
And all the houses are individually designed. It is not like lovely old Oxfordshire, no offence guys, but your houses are all the same, these are all unique. Different materials, different styles, to an Englishman it is totally mad. To a town planner in the UK…..well he would die of fright.
It is all extremely lovely. And clean, did I mention that already?
Two countries separated by one language, but American men do share a pastime with Europeans, and that is watching sport. Last weekend we went to our first Football game, which of course doesn’t mean we watched some over paid idiots kicking around ball and falling over a lot (that is this weekend), we actually went to an American football game.
It stated with a tailgate party, what you & I would call a BBQ, and yes, someone brought one of the biggest gas BBQs I have ever seen. On the back of a truck. Like you do.
And everyone was lovely, someone even recognised the football shirts that Ben and I were wearing in homage to our league leading team. Couldn’t pronounce Leicester, of course, but all very sweet.
But strange things happen at football matches everywhere. At West Bromwich Albion they bounce up and down making strange sounds, at the Airforce Academy of Colorado Springs they throw cheese at the team. And when the home team scores, all the cadets rush to behind one goal and perform press ups. Since the score reached 25 points, and they do one for each point, they must have been knackered at the end.
15,000 people enjoyed a college football game in a ground which holds more than the average English Premier league team, and Our Jake had a turkey leg the size of his arm. But how can they make 4 quarters of 15 minutes each last 3 elapsed hours?
Everything is extreme in the American Dream, and I’m really enjoying it. The people and the cleanliness.