supermarket sweep

As we’ve noted in a previous post, we have a garbage service.  3 days a week a man comes to our place to collect our trash and recyclables since our building has no disposal system.  After the first collection we were told that we are using the wrong bags and we need to get the “right” garbage bags – the blue ones.  Thinking this was some sort of preference of our little man, I willingly obliged and scouted the various 7-11 and Family Marts in our area for blue bags.  (maybe he will be safer on his scooter with the right bags)  Orange, black, lime green, lilac coloured?  all present, but no blue.    Odd.  So i do some internet searching.

Turns out that the city government requires you to purchase special government approved bags.  blue bags.  If you don’t use the right bag, your garbage won’t be accepted.   Apparently to recycle, you can use any bag, cheaper bags, so this should encourage you to recycle.  (for what its worth, the Taipei City Government statistics show that the volume of household garbage has declined 67 percent since the bag-fee policy was imposed, so the system is working).  Of course the government site doesn’t have a picture so i still don’t know what these bags look like.  Thankfully the internets saves me and i found another expat blog that photographed his ordeal too.

Well this all sounds very progressive and enlightened, so knowing what they look like off i go to find these bags.  It took 3 days and 7 stores to find them.  Very well hidden.  You’d think they’d be displayed alongside the regular kitchen garbage bags, perhaps alongside the household items – no that would make sense.  Instead these were hidden at the checkout along side candy, gum and other impulse items.  Why?  why put them there? why make it so painfully hard to find??  Here is what they look like by the way:

Notice the government seal in the top right? that prevents fakes

Although, I will say this is not the first time i’ve played the game:  where would random item be in the grocery store.

Here is where my baby formula is sold:

safely behind lock and key right beside the liquor

Yes, you see that right.  After 2 days of searching the shelves of every grocery store in our area we found it locked away in a glass case beside the liquor.  Obviously.   If ever there was a Taiwanese version of supermarket sweeps – i would do chasing my tail lost in the wrong aisle.

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