Still in my post-exam unproductive mode (thanks to my 11-page Biology written exam, which should be banned off the face of the earth, or my professor at least), I get back from my PHL303M lecture, have my unhealthy and artery-clogging Wendy’s square (that’s right, *square* I know my geometric shapes, thank you) hamburger and fries for lunch, and sign onto MSN Messenger, hoping to find some intriguing people to entertain me before I have to begin studying for my AST301 exam.

Among the 8 +1webcam simultaneous conversations I was consumed in, one was with an older friend of mine from New Zealand; I shall refer to her as “Alice.” I wouldn’t entirely call “Alice” a farmer, she purely enjoys growing vegetables and fruits in her backyard: One of those gifted green thumbs. Being a student attending university herself, our conversation naturally drifted to *shudders* academia, and being the weird person that I am, the topic of *shudders again* academics made me hungry (even though I had *just* finished my lunch). Hence, we postponed our discussion so I could go to Kins Market to grab a light snack.

I like to be original… so instead of a mundane “back” typical of what most people would type upon returning, I decided to tell “Alice” what I bought- a salad.

Binoculars- pl. n. says:            salads are good
Alice says:            yep         

Alice says:            I love summer cos of salads         
Binoculars- pl. n. says:            no salads in the winter?          
Alice says:            expensive          
Alice says:            very 

It would have never occurred to me prior to Alice making this comment that salads could be, in any way, expensive. 2/3 lb. of lettuce, 1 tomato, 1/2 cucumber, couple of baby carrots, and Ranch dressing (or Caesar, my favorite)- how much could that possibly cost? I suppose because Americans are so dependent on salad as a main course of their meal (since genuine American Cuisine doesn’t actually exist, merely a conglomeration of prototypical entrées from other countries), those of us who reside in the United States don’t see salads as anything out of the ordinary nor special… Novelty. It’s much like rice for me; some people enjoy having rice occasionally. Notice I typed ‘occasionally,’ these people haven’t been eating white, plain rice for the past 18 years; although, I do look forward to having my favored sticky rice, which I only have the pleasure of eating ‘occasionally.’           
Alice says:            did a heap of gardening          
Alice says:            have to clean it up and do some more, but it rained last night so waiting till it dries a bit         
Binoculars- pl. n. says:            well, at least that means you don’t have to water it yourself now         
Alice says:        heard on the radio that we have to save water or there’ll be restrictions, heck summer only just started         
Binoculars- pl. n. says:            restrictions?! gah, i guess i tend to take things for granted… you need to move to a better place where the government’s not keeping you from obtaining the thing humans need most- water          
Alice says:            weather is changing         
Alice says:            not so much rain here anymore         
Binoculars- pl. n. says:         =(          
Alice says:            and when it does, it floods us         
Alice says:            I have a creek going thru yard         
Alice says:           and it was more than full         
Alice says:           downstairs got flooded oout         
Binoculars- pl. n. says:           rain… is that where you guys get your water supply?         
Alice says:            we have a catchment arera for water, but it depends on rauin and snow         
Alice says:            we didn’t get much snow this year either 

I never expected any place to have a “water restriction,” it’s like telling people that they can’t live anymore. Imagine having just had 3 bags of extra-salty peanuts because you’re special like that. Then suddenly, you’re overcome with an unavoidable desire for water. Scavenging through your pantry, you notice that you have run out of water. Being the smart and quick-witted person that you are, you decide to drive to the supermarket to buy a few gallons of water. Once you get there, you grab a cart, throw the containers of water in, and rush to the cash register. At this point, there are 2 possible extreme cases:

1) In most situations [where water is not restricted]: The cashier scans your items and puts them in a bag. You drive home with your water and drink yourself happy.
2) In other situations [where water is restricted]: The cashier scans your items and ID, a warning on the cashier’s computer flashes reading “This customer has already purchased 5 gallons of water earlier this month, (s)he is not allowed another 5 gallons until the beginning of next month,” the WMG (Water Maintenance Group) then comes and takes your water away, and request that you not try another juvenile maneuvre like that again.

Ok, so maybe the latter case is a bit too extreme, but you get what I mean… Those of us who aren’t deprived abuse what we have, unable to understand that there are people out there who would give anything to obtain what we possess. You watch TV and what do you see? Reality television shows where the producer thinks that pouring 100 lbs. of raw meat on a carnophobic person is funny.

People like Alice have to constantly plan ahead because they lack sufficient resources. Us abusers, on the other hand, throw away our leftovers without a second thought, oblivious to the fact that there are children in Africa constantly rummaging through dumpster yards searching for minute scraps in order to temporarily alleviate that chronic hunger for actual food. That one-half of a muffin you refused to finish for breakfast and chose to toss in the trashcan instead would have brought a smile on any famished living soul’s face.

This is not to say I’ve never wasted food before- I am as guilty as charged- but realizing that your careless actions affect others, even if indirectly, is important.

Enough for now; I must now convince my hypochondriac roommate that she is not going to die from discolored broccoli. Till next time… 

(Originally Posted 11/10/05)

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