September 23, 2006

Für Elise Pickup

Once during our family's summer trip to Taiwan, while staying in Heidi's parents' home village of Beisan, we heard a merry little electronic sing-song tune coming from a faraway street. The notes seemed to be roaming the town, sometimes getting closer, sometimes getting farther.

"Is that an ice-cream truck?" asked Anthony. "Let's go get some ice cream!" suggested Piper.

As the music approached our house, we all ran downstairs to see what it was. It came louder and louder until it was upon us. Finally, a truck turned the corner, and we could see... it was a garbage truck! In the villages of Taiwan, the arrival of the garbage truck is announced by a happy electronic rendition of Beethoven's Für Elise.

Everybody in Beisan came to their front doors with their bags of trash and helped the sanitation workers heave trash into the back of the truck. The truck didn't stop; it just kept singing its cheerful little tune, driving down the street, with all the neighbors taking their turn tossing bags and boxes of waste into the back. Pretty different from the trash pickup we have in the states.

I was reminded of this sight by Wikipedia. The Taiwanese trash truck tradition is noted in Wikipedia's entry on Für Elise. What a quirky fact. What a quirky encyclopedia!

Posted by David at September 23, 2006 10:29 PM
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