Why aren’t mega-corporations worried about their image

If I owned a business, however small, I would HATE to see my bags/covers/containers defaced. Wouldn’t it be horrible to spend all that time and money on designed a beautiful ‘container’, and making it (out of paper, or plastic or wood or whatever) for it to be muddied? Defaced? Defiled? Having to mark up prices to my lovely customers, so that I could cover the costs of packaging?

A litter pile I walk past weekly.
A litter pile I walk past weekly.

Wouldn’t my image suffer every time someone saw my businesses name in a trash heap? In a little pile in a garden bed?  Lying on train tracks? Why don’t companies care?  Why don’t Coke and McDonalds and SO MANY OTHERS care that they are showing their dead, empty, lifeless product in muddy, grotty, run down places? Seeing a dingy fries packet or bottle of soft drink doesn’t make me think ‘mmmm, I’d love me some of that!’  It just makes me cringe.  Cringe at the grot.  Cringe at the people who littered. But I just don’t get it – isn’t this the WORST advertising ever? Sure, they put Ronald McDonald on the back of things, showing him slam dunking his packaging into a bin, but it’s not inspiring enough, evidently!

Dont litter icon
Dont litter icon

I know any publicity is good publicity, but how come governments (or consumers) saying that this isn’t good enough?   I mean, it’s not guess who’s causing the waste – it’s the companies making the products. Now, changing tack for a minute, if you sit down on the bus, and beside you there’s a coat.  Something someone has left behind, most caring rational people’s reaction would be to try and find the owner.  Ask around – work out who just vacated the seat.  It’s in our nature to ‘put things right’. So, with that in mind, why aren’t we picking up a piece of labelled, branded container, and thinking ‘who’s is this’?  Or are we such a single use society that everything we get must be ours for keeps (unless we pay some deposit to secure the return – like towels or sheets at a hostel). I imagine trash crusaders, sorting their collections into mega corporations, and politely (or perhaps not so politely) depositing them at the headquarters, asking for compensation.  For the time taken to clean up the space? I know I’m dreaming of a utopia world, but it just seems so logical to me to find out who owns the trash and hold them accountable.

What do you think?

Diner en Blanc 2014

Somehow, this post never got posted, but the pictures are no less lovely, so why not now?

Last year (ie 2013), we went to Diner en Blanc held at the surprise location of Bondi Beach.  I posted about it here.  This year (cough 2014!), we went again, and here’s a photo summary.  This year it was held in Centennial Park, which wasn’t as ‘wow’ as a beach, but still a lovely setting.

Schleping the gear from coaches to the destination
Schleping the gear from coaches to the destination
Serviette waving - the food eating may (formally) begin
Serviette waving – the food eating may (formally) begin
Pretty people, pretty tables, but nature is the BEST!
Pretty people, pretty tables, but nature is the BEST!
Where are we off to?
Where are we off to?
That sun set, if nothing else, this event makes me realise how lovely Sydney is
That sun set, if nothing else, this event makes me realise how lovely Sydney is
Here's a rabbit, there's a rabbit
Here’s a rabbit, there’s a rabbit
Beautiful tables
Beautiful tables
The sponsor...
The sponsor…
Sparklers time
Sparklers time

Thai massage

I love massages.  I’ve spent upwards of $100 recently to work on the soreness in my shoulders 🙁  I have worked very hard to find a massage place that suits my preferences – relaxing, but effective.  A sense that they know what they are working on, and focus where it’s needed.

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t love all massages.  I particularly don’t like Thai massages.

When we travel to South East Asia, we regularly have Thai style massages.  On a trip to Vietnam, we have found out, retrospectively, that we were perhaps at a massage location that wasn’t *just* for massage!  It was dark when we got upstairs, which should have been a tell tale sign.  The masseurs of these full service massage parlours tend to either wear low cut tops or short dresses.  At this couples massage, the woman sucked lollies and unwrapped lollies during the massage.  Approaching the end, she also pulled the curtain between me and the BF.  Since this massage, I’ve been even more leery of massage parlours, and their true purpose.

A robe - it's the little (reusable, washable) things that make you feel special.  Slippers... were not taken home Lucinda ;)
A robe – it’s the little (reusable, washable) things that make you feel special. Slippers… were not taken home Lucinda 😉

Another component of my discomfort comes from the strong representation of certain ethnicities in massage parlours.  It makes me assume, rightly or wrongly, that there may be some level of exploitation.  I’m not above wondering if human trafficking may be at play.   I have the same worries with the nail salons, which I also frequent.  Aside: I asked my nail lady, Kate, if she liked her job a while back.  She gave me a look that said ‘you’ve gotta be kidding lady’ and since then we’ve been a little more frank!  Her English is great, and it goes a long way to forging better understanding.

The price of Thai massages also strengthens my suspicions about less than legal conduct with wages.  IF a Thai massage can be from $40-$60 per hour, but a comparable physiotherapist massage or a location that allows for a health insurance rebate is seldom less than $100.

On the weekend, I went with the BF to his preferred Thai massage parlour, which I’ve been to once before.  The BF goes there more often, but I’ve usually said I’d rather not.  Given I’ve had some wonderful recent massages (at a location where I feel more sure of the legal employment of the masseuses, and the style is remedial et al) I thought I should try a Thai massage one more time.  I even went for ‘non deep’ so I wasn’t put off by the pain component 😉

Alas, I didn’t enjoy it.  I knew I didn’t like the scent of their balm, so I skipped that.  I found the pressure OK.  What was the problem then? I didn’t like the focus on my arms.  I don’t understand all the foot and leg massaging.  And, in our couples massage room, once again, the BF’s masseuse was sucking on a lolly. Took me right back to Vietnam. Not a fond memory.

No thank you – no more Thai massages.