An update on the straw situation:
Guys, avoiding straws is a lot harder than it seems. They are so insidious! On the one hand, I am primed to go strawless under normal circumstances because I prefer drinks with no ice- and no it’s not only the PTSD from my Entebbe departure. I have always preferred drinks with no ice.
However, as it turns out, a strawless existence is not conducive to (1) driving across the country, (2) drinking any beverage at any bar or restaurant, or (3) being a graduate student who just really needs a soda with her fastfood lunch sometimes. As it turns out, cups that do not include a lid and a straw are an order of magnitude more spillable than those with lids and straws. In a non-travel context, not using any straws is similar switching to making everything (including your iced coffee) at home: really hard. In a restaurant setting, servers are like straw pushers and are constantly littering beverages with those little plastic siphons even when politely ask them to refrain. It is so far against their expectations that it blips right out of their brains. And by the time the straw is submerged in whatever beverage- its already too late! I’ve taken to bringing my own straw (I am totally serious, I have been saving and reusing straws whenever I can in order to cut down on my straw habit). Whenever I can remember, I tell servers that I’m a germaphobe and need to use my straw so please don’t bring me a drink with a straw in it. I’m not the most successful with this strategy because I forget… a lot… but baby steps.
You may think that my tone is overly flippant and I want to assure that I take the threat of straws and other plastics to marine- and land-living wildlife very seriously. If anything, the humor in my tone is reflective of how ridiculous it is that something a silly as a straw, a tool concerned primarily with comfort, is so pervasive. I never expected that it would be so difficult to parse out of modern life, let alone that completely deleting straws from my life would be this close to impossible.
For those of you on the go all day every day, try going strawless. For those of you with the time to dine out, try to go out and refuse all the straws. Notice how many straws are served to you. Did you ever consider this before? Did you encounter more straws that you thought you would? Next, see how hard it is to remember to ask your servers to hold the straw. Then observe how often servers forget to hold that straw. Then come leave some comments- tell me how it went! This is my personal challenge to you.
newsletter subscription options
This blog is a forum share my personal experiences as a field researcher and traveler.