I have lived in 5 different European countries and visited dozens of others, so I consider myself a bit of an expert on Europe. And of course on Europe’s problems, a topic which has been dominating headlines for the past few years. I know exactly what is the biggest problem Europe has. It’s not the Euro, not the immigrants, not Islam, not climate change. In North or South, East or West, in poor countries and rich ones, large or small, the single biggest problem Europeans in all countries are facing is one and the same. It’s dog shit. Seriously. On a day-to-day basis, the most concerning problem for the average European is how to avoid stepping into fresh (or not so fresh) piece of dog shit.
The issue of dog shit crosses (sometimes quite literally) all borders in Europe. Throughout the years, I’ve seen Europeans of all social backgrounds, skin colours and religions neglecting to commit the simple act of picking up their dog’s shit, and I’ve seen their European neighbours failing to find an adequate answer to this neglect.
Dog shit is a problem that encompasses most, if not all, aspects of society. It’s about the antisocial dog owner, who fails to assume his/her citizen’s responsibility. It’s about their fellow citizens, who, when confronted with the problem look away and hope someone else will do something about it. It’s about taxes and spending – European municipalities have a habit of charging a “dog tax” and spending it on pretty much anything rather than the intended purpose of dog toilets and poop bag dispensers. It’s about public health and safety – the turds are a source of germs and parasites in the air. It’s also about law enforcements – in Rotterdam, where I live, the fine for not clearing your dog’s shit is 130 Euro, but I have never seen the city wardens actually fine someone (and I’ve seen plenty of dogs taking a dump on the streets).
Basically, what it comes down to is that you need to watch where you’re stepping, can’t lie down on the grass in a park and nobody’s doing anything about it. Except in Switzerland, which sort of proves that the Swiss are not a part of Europe but live on a separate continent. But I’m digressing. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve had it with dog shit. I am taking a stand. In the building across the lawn lives a guy who owns a couple of large dogs. You see where this is going, right? Yes, right on the lawn, even though there’s a dog toilet across the street. I’m going to make myself perfectly clear by putting this baby in front of his balcony: