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Litter in Spanish Bars


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Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
The first time I went into a Spanish Bar I couldn't believe the way people chucked everything onto the floors - cigarette butts, sugar papers, toothpicks, serviettes - everything was thrown onto the floor and the barman had to make regular rounds to sweep up the mess.
In one bar, frequented mainly by local men, they threw sawdust onto the floors in the morning and swept it out with the other rubbish. When we asked the barman why people did that he shrugged and said, "es normal".
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And you only clean once at the end of the day with a broom! It beats cleaning the counter all day long.


Nunca se camina solo
I'm facinated by this as well. It happens all over Spain. People throw cigarette buts, olive pips, shells from nuts, on the floor. I go to a very busy Spanish bar in London - all Spaniards - it is spotlessly clean. I asked why they didn't throw things on the floor and the said," Oh we only do that at home!"

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
It´s not just the bars, it´s the streets. People throw things all over the ground. I asked some kids about this one time, as they littered the plaza mayor in Sahagun. A granny standing nearby said everybody throws litter in the town so the street cleaners can keep their jobs! (out in the country, though, you´re supposed to carry your trash to the next bin, so it doesn´t get into the fields and tangle up the farm machinery.)

After making a mess on a table one afternoon in a bar, I started to clear off some of the dishes. The waiter told me to please stop that -- this was his JOB, and I should let him do it!

So it´s not about sanitation. It´s about job security!



Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1988)
One of my memories of Madrid were the not inconsequential piles of sunflower seed shells that were scattered on the floors of the Metro trains and city busses. When I asked why people didn't use trash bins, I was told then there would be nothing for the floor sweepers to do- so Rebekah is right- it's a form of job security.
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One of my most striking memories of Spain and Portugal is being out on the streets early in the morning and seeing workers using straw or twig brooms sweeping the sidewalks and gutters all over the downtown.

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