Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Plastic Bags, Crayfish and Styrofoam

We spent the morning shopping and taking pictures of interesting architectural details of homes in Moedling. Once again, the weather was beautiful. The kids enjoy the walk into town. The footpath follows along side a natural creek. As we walked, Jutta told us about the plight of the Austrian Crayfish. Apparently some time after world war II, the American Crayfish was introduced into the Austrian waterways. Jutta did not know the reason why our crayfish was introduced but nonetheless it was. The American Crayfish had a cancerous disease and infected all of the native Austrian crayfish. The Austrian Crayfish is endangered now. The American Crayfish survived the epidemic and now thrives in the Austrian creeks. It is an invasive species here in Austria. I thought that was funny.

My next interesting point of the day - shopping bags! Plastic bags like the bags from the supermarket or wal-mart are illegal. Yes - that is right - they are illegal. The bags from the market are paper. But what is really amazing is that if you don't bring your own bags or a traditional basket - they charge you 1 euro. Wow - that equals about $1.60 a bag at home. If you went to wal-mart and needed 10 bags and forgot yours that would cost you $16. I guess you would start to remember to take your reusable shopping bags out of the car.

3rd point - styrofoam is illegal in Austria. I have not seen a disposable cup, fork or plate since arriving on Sunday. In Austria, they wash dishes - what a concept! (No comments from home about washing dishes! I've been busy!)

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