Though I am a slave to public transport (no car), I have recently had more than my share of road rage episodes…
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve lived in the US, but am I crazy in remembering that pedestrians usually walk on the right hand side of the road? There are sometimes those near-collision moments, but the default is always to the right, so you mostly avoid hitting each other.
I assumed that in the UK, as they drive on the left, that they would also walk on the left. Wrong. Ok, so I revised my hypothesis, and started walking on the right. Just as many run-ins. And they’re not the friendly “shall we dance” moments when you jump back and forth trying to pass each other. People get mean. I got sworn at by a little old grandpa the other day for not getting out of the way. And this is a regular occurrence.
I started noticing the swerving patterns I have to take on my walks – dodging strollers, bikes, shopping carts, joggers, and the oldsters. There is simply no method to their madness. It must take me twice as long as it would if I were walking in a straight line. So just getting from A to B becomes an obstacle course, and it’s amazing if you can do it without being shouted at for being in someone’s way.
Drives me mad. I think my expectations of ‘order’ in the UK were way too high. I am trying not to let road rage get the best of me – I don’t want to become one of those enraged pedestrians.