How to Annoy Germans

I think I discovered the perfect way.

But first a little background…
In most places in Germany all plastic is recycled. It is all put into plastic yellow trash bags (Gelbesack) and they are hauled away about every 2 weeks.

Last Sunday night I briefly looked at our schedule that tells us when and what kind of trash is being picked up (zum Beispiel) and saw that Gelbesack was being picked up on Monday. I took our one bag and put in in front of the door, locked up and went to bed. In the morning, while waiting for my ride to work, I noticed that a few other houses had put their Gelbesäcke out as well. On my way home from work I noticed that all the bags were still outside. Hmmm. Some houses had quite a few. The hair salon up the street had a huge mountain of yellow bags piled up.

This is funny for two reasons.

  1. I looked at the calendar wrong. We just had pickup last week. No wonder I was the only one with bags in front of their door when I put it out there. Silly me.
  2. It also means that someone came outside or looked out the window and saw my one lonesome bag and thought, “Oh, heute ist Gelbesack.” Then they got theirs and put them outside the door. Some neighbors saw theirs and did the same. And on it went all the way down the street.

So now they have two choices.

  1. They can either leave them outside for 2 weeks, where they will be at the mercy of the elements (weather, wild animals, bored teenagers). They will also have to endure the disapproving looks from their neighbors that actually looked at the pickup schedule (Ha! Only about 4 or 5 it seems). Lord knows we can’t have that.
  2. Or they will have to bring them all back inside.

Ha! Ha!

So, there you go kids. Try it out in your local German city and see if it is as much fun for you and your neighbors as it was for me and mine.