Travelblather

Trashing the Douro Valley in Portugal

I've just returned from a writing trip to the lovely Douro valley in Portugal. It's a totally beautiful landscape - a winding river sparkling in the summer sunlight, flanked by steeply terraced, vine-covered hillsides.

Douro-Valley-2007-048

I was on the train back to Porto and there was an old chap sat opposite me. He bought a can of drink from the guy with the trolley who was walking down the aisle. When he'd finished it, he opened the window and chucked it out. I was totally gob-struck. Here was this beautiful scenery and he was slinging rubbish out of the window without a second thought. It was the way he did it too - as if he was doing us other passengers a service by getting rid of the rubbish. It struck me how for me at least that kind of behaviour is these days totally outrageous and unacceptable, but no one else in the carriage seemed even vaguely bothered... If I'd been in the UK - on home territory - I might have said something, but being a foreignor in a foreign land I stayed silent. Would you?

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