Paper straws are more expensive than convenient plastic straws:
Compared to health, how much is it worth?
1. Everyone is familiar with plastic straws
“”The bus has arrived, so hurry up and get off!”
I opened the blanket, rubbed my eyes and yawned for a long time.
Instinctively, I immediately moved my hand to the side.
My fingers touched the tender skin of my daughter, feeling some strands of hair still lingering on her cheek.
I was relieved, turning to look at my sleeping child. I whispered in her ear:
“Come to the Eastern bus station, get off.”
I pulled the hand of my daughter who was yawning continuously to get her luggage.
I looked around.
The sky is still black.
The night buses from Buon Ma Thuot to Saigon always run as fast as ghosts chase, told 5 am to arrive, but now only 4 o’clock car has chased people out already.
I took daughter to a nearby water shop and sat down. Time to go home dangerous. I waited for the sun to dawn.
I ordered a coffee for myself, a filtered water for the daughter .
The lady put a loud cup of coffee down on the table and put into a black straw.
My daughter looked at me.
Growing up in the Central Highlands, she was accustomed to drinking coffee, waiting for drip drip. Coffee mugs that drink with … straws is the first time it sees.
Those curious eyes were just like me nearly 20 years ago.
2. Compared to health, how much is it worth?
Remember in the 2000s, I went to Saigon for a university exam. As soon as I got down to the Eastern bus station, I got car sick, vomited all night, and feel tired. Father and me sat at a pub, but we only ordered one bread.
The lady wrapped bread in plastic wrap and put it on the table.
Father pushed towards me:
“If you’re hungry, eat it.”
I shook my head:
“Why so expensive, I find another place cheaper.”
“How much is a sandwich, compared to health, worth?”
Recently has been nearly 20 years.
I am old, no longer the enthusiasm of youth, nor the eagerness of the girl eager to enter life.
Eastern bus station is less slippery, but the smell coming from the soil remains the same.
The times from Buon Me Thuot to Saigon, sitting back against a plastic chair, waiting for the sun to catch a motorbike taxi, I lost my soul.
The wind is still the same, the sun is the same, the smell coming from the soil is the same.
But father died.
My father let me struggle to survive in this empty life.
Graduated from University, brought the intellectual head back to his homeland, became a merchant, initially earning a living for his younger brother, later earning a living for my daughter.
3. The secret of micro plastic beads
Daughter took my coffee cup and brought a straw to her mouth to gnaw.
A few seconds later, I turned around, saw the black straw was bitten, sticking out the white folds. She folded the straw with her hand, then brought it to her mouth.
I hurriedly pulled out:
“Did you swallow?”
She stuck out her tongue.
“Don’t chew. Toxic plastic, you know? How about it even dyed in black! ”
How many times has this plastic been recycled? Sold here, certainly not a good item.
She looked up at me:
“Mom still sold it?”
I choked on my throat.
4. Confidence of plastic dealers
I am a plastic dealer.
I made a connection from Saigon to Buon Me Thuot, leaving it behind for coffee shops.
Selling it daily, I clearly understand how terrible a person is using plastic each month.
It is normal for a coffee shop to take tens of thousands of plastic cups every few months, which is not surprising.
They like to get stained straws.
“Get black for me, white for a long time to look very old, guests are not satisfied.”
Selling it, I understand very well that plastic is thought to be harmless but actually very harmful.
Plastics look durable, actually not durable. Especially straws.
People often drink and chewing straws.
Then some tiny plastic particles break out and get in mouth.
Swallow down, then stay in your stomach. Then slowly follow the blood vessels everywhere.
Especially the colored straws, the more toxic.
But this is a livelihood. Although it was harmful, because of money, I had to close my eyes and do it.
5. Selling plastic, but using paper straws?
I sell plastic, but do not allow my child to use plastic.
I scoured where to buy non-plastic straws, friends talk to me:
“Are you free?”
I was silent, ignored. I buy wholesales paper straw put in the corner home, just go out to the street always bring it
You always teased me about it.
I looked at her, she had recoiled the straw in my hand.
Since she was small, she used paper straws, and for the first time in her life, she touched plastic straws by her mother, chewing incessantly.
I opened my rummage bag. There are no bamboo straws.
Paper straws are not always available.
I remember buying to get home. Yesterday hurriedly packed the pack away so forgot. Damned.
I waved at the lady, and asked:
“Are there paper straws or bamboo straws, please give me one.”
She raised an eyebrow:
“What is a paper straw?”
“It’s straw make by paper.”
The innkeeper replied curtly and turned around, throwing an uncomfortable look, as if looking at a stupid.
I opened my mouth to curse, but refrained.
Seeing her daughter sneakily plug the black plastic straw back into her glass, open her mouth ready to drink, and suddenly I get annoyed. I scolded:
“Take the car home.”
“I’ll finish it.”
“Mother told me to go home. Go home!”
She looked at me, her eyes against. Like my eyes twenty years ago.
6. Give up
Twenty years ago, my father saved me five hundred to take me to Saigon for a university exam.
Sitting at the small shop, the two of people bought a piece of bread, Father pushed me, told the hungry child to eat.
A bread, compared to health, is worth.
Twenty years later, I no longer spent five hundred, not buying a bread for two.
But I pulled my daughter out of what I was using to make a living, telling him not to, I won’t give it to him. But she didn’t listen, she used exactly what I was selling.
The sky has turned pale blue. She looked bewildered, touched my hand softly:
“Why are you crying?”
“Go, we will go home.”
I wiped my tears and pulled her hand under the bright sky.
Perhaps, I will stop. How much is a livelihood, compared to health, worth?
As a father and mother, when one understands the story, one can let his children’s health hurt.
But, how deep that feeling understands. Because, as my father once said:
“Tears will flow forever and ever …”