Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How much do I hate the trees? (Where in the world am I? [37b])

Another thing about the trees...... (And this ties in to my earlier observations on the impassability of most of the sidewalks in this town.)

They are so numerous along many of the sidewalks that they leave no room for the people. Really. The typical spacing is about one every 2 or 3 yards, sometimes less; and, as I said yesterday, each of them is obligatorily surrounded at its base by a sunken rectangle of bone-dry dust about a yard or so square. Many of the narrower sidewalks are not much more than a yard wide..... but that doesn't stop the city authorities planting trees in the middle of them! Like I said before, people mostly walk in the bicycle lanes. There's nowhere else.

Moreover, they tend to plant youngish trees, and not sink them very deep. Result: within 2 or 3 months the root systems of new trees are churning up the paving on the sidewalk, and often the adjoining road surface too. If there is space to walk on the sidewalk, it's still often awkward to do so because of all the cracks, holes, undulations, and shattered paving slabs. Bloody trees!

The amount of money and manpower the city expends on the tree problem is colossal. Watering them. Trimming them. Repairing storm damage. Repairing roads & sidewalks every few months. Watering them. Removing and replanting them whenever there's a road widening or some other public improvement scheme. Watering them.

It's such an appalling, unnecessary waste of resources. But that is something this country tends to excel in!

I can imagine myself getting deported one day for heading out in the middle of the night, drunk and maudlin, with a nice sharp saw to bring a few of these superfluous trees down. Yes, I've always seen myself as Paul Newman in 'Cool Hand Luke'.....


Anonymous said...

do the local shops sell nice sharp saws?

Froog said...

No - you can probably get rather blunt saws with irregular teeth and no firm connection to their handles.

Honestly, once I bought a hammer here which had NOTHING fastening the head to the handle. I didn't realise.... until the second or third stroke at my picture-hook, when the head came flying off backwards and nearly took my eye out.