Thursday, February 11, 2010

Directionally Challenged

Continuing on with the problem theme...

First of all, thanks to everyone for chiming with their own problem words on the last post! It is very comforting to know I am not alone in this affliction. And a great memory tip to remember 'necessary' from Lahossner: think of a shirt - one collar (for the c) and two sleeves (for the s's)!

Not only do I have problems with words, but ever since I moved to London I seem to have problems with directions. Not directions as in 'How do I get there?', though: directions as in left or right.

Everyone knows the Brits drive on the left-hand side of the road. Although initially I was terrified of driving here (so terrified I told The Man that I was not going to drive my newly bought car home on the M25!), I adjusted without too much difficulty. When you're stuck in the daily traffic jams on the M4, there's plenty of time to contemplate which side of the road to drive on.

No, the asphalt wasn't the issue. The real issue was the sidewalk.

You know when you meet someone on a narrow stretch and you need to decide which direction to take to navigate by them? And they respond by moving in the opposite direction, so you pass without crashing? Here in the UK, I was continually confounded by which direction I should veer in. I'd inadvertently do a fake-out, adjusting my steps in one direction and then switching at the last second, pretty much ensuring a collision.

So I decided to leave it in the hands of the capable oncomer, to see what I could learn. But there didn't seem to be a pattern. Some would go left, some right; some wouldn't move at all, resulting in a shoulder crash (because I always refuse to yield to such sidewalk bullies. If they want a crash, they'll get a crash).

The issue was even more confused by the fact that on the Tube escalators, you stand on the right to let people pass by on the left -- completely disregarding the rules of the road.

Six years on, and I'm still none the wiser. So I now put the cry out: someone, help me make peace with the people of the pavement!

(And yes, this is what my life has come to!)

3 comments:

Falen said...

ha! I love that you don't take sidewalk bullying! That is so awesome, you deserve a medal.

A Heron's View said...

The unwritten rule when walking on pavements, is that if you have to step into the road always make sure that you are facing the oncoming vehicles. Other than that you are free to walk on the left, the middle or the right because you are in a free country!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Good for you for shoulder crashing. I have no idea why some people are sidewalk bullies. sigh.