Translated by Herbert Meck
By Tina Nguyen
For me there is never enough summertime and I always have the nostalgic mood after summer has left Munich. I usually take advantage of the last warm days of the year to walk around town with a bubble tea in hand. One time on the way to the bubble tea store I walked past a large Euro store, which reminded me of a story I experienced when I was new Germany.
Four years ago, I was accepted for a place in a youth hostel. I still remember how happy I was when I finally had my own room to live in after three months in Munich. That’s why I was really looking forward to shopping for new things for my new room, new glasses, new carpets, new bed linen, etc. I was so excited about it. Also, one day in September I walked past a Euro shop for the first time and decided to go in. At that time, of course, I hadn’t yet informed myself that one should boycott such shops as Euro-Shop because of employee exploitation and the environmentally unfriendly production but was thrilled that I could buy all the things with only one euro. So, for me, the Euro-Shop was the hammer at that time.
Now I don’t remember exactly what I bought that day with almost 50 euros, but I only remember that most of the things were kitchen stuff. In particular, I bought an apple slicer because apple is my favourite fruit. When I bought the apple slicer, I thought to myself that I could now eat apples every day without having to cut them into small pieces myself. On the way home, I even passed by a supermarket to buy apples. As soon as I got home, I cleaned the apple slicer and tried to cut an apple with it. I put the apple slicer on the apple, 1… 2… 3… and squeezed. It didn’t work. I thought to myself, okay maybe the apple was too hard and I should use more force. 1… 2… 3… I tried again to push the apple cutter into the apple. It didn’t work either. I tried countless times. After 30 minutes, I had to accept with great disappointment that apples could not be cut at all with my apple slicer from the Euro shop. Afterwards, I called my sister and hoped to hear some comfort from her. Contrary to my expectations, my sister found the story so funny and made fun of me. She said, “Oh my naive little sister, how can you cut an apple with a slicer that only costs one euro? Maybe you can cut ripe strawberries or grapes with that.” Since then, she still makes fun of me every time we see an apple slicer in advertisements or in any movies. Personally, I rarely eat apples since then because I’m too lazy to cut them.
It was an unfortunate story with the apple slicer, but it taught me that it’s not worth buying cheap products and then having to throw them away because we can’t really use them. Especially since environmental protection is a topic that should get more attention worldwide, I therefore try to do more for sustainable purchasing.