Readers' Submissions

A Load of Rubbish

  • Written by Timmo
  • January 25th, 2019
  • 4 min read

I wanted to pen some of my thoughts on pollution, mainly rubbish in some Asian countries after hearing a few news articles lately. I read online the other day that Indonesia will be charging tourists at the airport a $ 12 US environmental fee. In my opinion this is a load of bullshit. Tourists should not be paying to look after other countries, it’s up to the government of the country.

So often when travelling I am seeing more and more Asian countries charging tourists for the privilege of spending their money, valuable currency mind you, in their countries.

I read an article by a stupid female journalist the other day online. She has jumped on the Indonesian bandwagon after obviously hearing about the environmental fee being imposed. She babbled on like journalists do, and so often get the truth wrong. It was about a place in Indonesia called Jimbaren I think, and the photos showed really littered beaches.

Toward the end she made a comment that the huge amounts of rubbish were probably from foreign tourists! Let’s stop right there. I got the impression that she had not spent much time in Indonesia, let alone South-East Asia. I would agree that a small portion of tourists would probably litter but the majority, well at least from civilized western countries, in general would not dream of throwing rubbish in the oceans or on the ground. This journalist had no idea.

I have spent considerable time in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Malaysia aside, the other three tend to be disgraceful in the way they treat their own countries when it comes to disposing of rubbish, probably at the lower ends of society would surely be the worst.

I have personally seen so much rubbish on the beach in Bali, but at certain times in the year it is far worse due to ocean currents washing it ashore, not that it justifies it.

I will clue you in on something, it’s the fxxxing locals that litter and destroy their own environments, it’s just in typical bullshit fashion, they won’t accept any responsibility at all for their actions, and in a lot of cases just have no idea what throwing rubbish into nature will cause. The great unwashed have never been educated on much at all, so they just don’t know, or don’t care.

I have lost count of the number of times I have witnessed an Indonesian, Thai or Filipino finish eating and toss their rubbish right where they stand, with absolutely no thought at all about it! In the Philippines I see it all the time, people throwing their rubbish out the side of Jeepneys. I was watching some fisherman with a dragnet and the net was full of plastic bags and very little fish, and they only dragged one spot, so that shows just how much rubbish is out there.

I have been to many beaches in the Philippines where the shoreline is an array of colored plastic bags as far as the eye can see. I have seen Filipinos digging huge holes in the sand and burying the rubbish. I asked them why and the reply was, well they can’t see the rubbish anymore. It would never enter their pea-sized brains that sand erodes and out comes the rubbish again!

I am no environmentalist, and the rubbish aside, this saving face bullshit and the refusal to be responsible for one’s self is the bigger problem. It’s rampant in the Philippines much the same as Thailand. I remember the Philippine president when he was on one of his anti-foreigner rants (out of pure jealousy), he made one of his ill-thought public comments and said, “Foreigners are ruining the Philippines” which is so far from the truth it’s not funny. Believe me, Filipinos are doing an almighty job of ruining their own country.

Getting a Filipino to admit a mistake or wrongdoing is like panning for gold. Good luck with that! Malaysia also introduced a 10 ringgit a night tourist fee in most hotels for any foreigner staying. I questioned people on it, and the reply was that it helps boost tourism. What a fxxking load of shit! Why should I be paying to boost tourism in Malaysia when my mere presence is boosting the economy anyway?

The more I stay in South-East Asia, the more money grabbing and bullshit I am seeing toward foreigners. Racism is rampant. Western countries might be expensive, but paying more is worth it to be around people on a much more level playing field. I am coming to see how wonderful my home country is and so are its people.

Pay an environmental fee to Indonesia on arrival when its own people continue to totally destroy their own environment…get fxxked!


Stick‘s thoughts:

Thais have a bad attitude towards disposing rubbish and it really does seem to be a case of out of sight, out of mind for so many Thais. I think anyone who has spent time travelling around Thailand has seen areas on beaches and in national parks where there are mountains of rotting rubbish. It’s an appalling look and a terrible reflection on the country and its people. And while Thailand is bad, the worst has to be Cambodia where it is even worse.

As for tourism taxes, they are popping up all over the world. If I were a country that did not have any tourist taxes and had no plans to implement one, I’d use that as part of a marketing campaign. Wouldn’t it be nice to be looking in to countries to visit and read something like, “Many countries impose an extra tax / bed tax on tourists. We value our visitors and do not and will not charge such a tax. We welcome you and treat you as we do our own!”

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