Since I've moved to the Netherlands, I've seen a lot of strange and amusing things. People, of course, have always been the most amusing of these sights. Especially this one kid that my wife and I call 'Garbage boy'.
In this country, everyone is obssessed with cleanliness in a way that cannot even be dreamt of in Chennai unless you stay in Poes Garden. Garbage boy embodies this principle. Before you start visualising a ragged kid cleaning up the streets, let me correct that picture. Garbage boy must be about two years old and is made up mostly of winterwear. He waddles across the street with the help of his mother and two siblings and is most enthusiastic about throwing garbage in the differently coloured bins they have here, some for paper, some for bottles and some others for things I've not translated yet.
After the waddling, the boy arrives and stares transfixed at his mother as she begins to toss bottles in the bins. His mother eventually yields and gives him some precious garbage to throw in the cans. The first time around she didn't estimate the child's enthusiasm correctly, so she had to stand around for half an hour after her garbage was over while garbage boy patiently picked up every inch of garbage from the surrounding 3 km radius. Even after that the boy had to be dragged away from the bins and tossed it into the bins.
Today garbage boy was made up of even more winterwear. He came with the same gang to play in the snow that has been piling up in the town for the last couple of days. He didn't seem to realise that they had come out to play, so he kept waving at buses while his siblings maimed each other with snowballs. After a couple of buses, his mom gently turned him in the direction of the sled which was on top of a 4 ft high mound. After serious effort, he has now successfully trekked scaled it.
At this moment, garbage boy is pointing at something in the snow and his whole entourage is huddled around him. Who knows - maybe he's found a piece of garbage.