Walking In London: The Rules

It’s getting harder and harder to get around this city on two feet. Get off your phones, open your eyes and have some consideration you twats.
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Ladies: when walking through shops, don’t just look at the racks.

I see you coming towards me with your face turned left or right, but you don’t see me. Your eyes are slightly glazed, beguiled by all the lovely things to buy in front of them. I’m trying to guess which way you’re going to go, my neurons constantly adapting to your random path, trying to take me out of your way. Whatever algorithms are dictating your mazey dance will always outdo me. I will stop dead, waiting for you to pass. You won’t notice, bashing your other shopping bags into my legs but caring not a jot. I got out of your way; a thank you might have been nice. (I will think this as I walk away quietly seething.)

When exiting a shop, MOVE ON.

Don’t just stand there wondering which way to go; think about it before you get out of the store you doofus. Also, if it’s raining, don’t just stand there with all the other tools pulling at your collar and trying to get your brolly up. Be ready for these things. You might have noticed a load of wet people heading your way before you got to the door; that’s a clue to what’s happening outside. If there’s a crowd of you in front of all the doors looking all surprised or wondering, you’re just a wall of people blocking the way a lot of other people want to go. Which, you know, could be construed as annoying.

When crossing the road, try not to be on Facebook.

Or Snapchat or Twitter or playing Minecraft or checking the footy scores or texting. Whoever thought of calling advanced communication devices ‘smartphones’ had a very keen sense of irony. Certainly the machines are making us all stupider. Why else would so many of you obliviously walk into the road staring into your device when I’m turning into the junction you think is a continuation of a footpath? I know, I know, you’re far too busy to look. You’ve got to update your status. Sorry - my fault. Maybe I can update it to ‘is a twisted, bloody mess’ for you when you’re under a car after paying more attention to your stupid phone than life threatening traffic.


Cycling in London: The Rules

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At pedestrian crossings, press the button, wait for the green man, then cross.

The thing about smartphones is there are so many exciting things to tap on. It’s magical isn’t it, seeing all those lovely colours and graphics change with a mere tap of your finger? So….erm, if you like pressing buttons so much, why not press the one at the pedestrian crossing that turns the lights to red? Not enough ‘likes’ in it for you? I get it; it’s so much better standing there looking up from your phone every few seconds to see if the traffic has stopped yet. More fun, right?  Crossing when the lights are red is so overrated. Better just to quickly go for it in between Whatsapp pings. The traffic will stop for you. People are nice like that. Even cyclists. They definitely won’t get annoyed when you step in the road looking at your phone as they slam on the anchors trying to avoid your stupid ‘Ooh sorry, silly me!’ face.

Get your children out of the way.

You can hear me behind you. I know because I’m slapping my feet on the floor in a way which is not natural for the walker. You’re wondering if your arse looks alright in these jeans or something. You’ll have a little fiddle with the bugaboo - you’re just checking if Grazia is still in the folds of the hood while you coo at nine month old Arabella down below. Meanwhile little Quentin is idly scooting his micro in random directions all over the shop to your right, meaning I’m unable to pass. On the other side, your labradoodle is looking for other dogs piss to sniff and doing a canine impression of a bimbo. I can’t get past you. You’re taking up all the pavement. I say ‘Excuse me please.’ but you don’t hear me until attempt number three when I’ve raised the volume a bit. Then you look at me like I’ve pissed in your hallway. I move past, secretly hoping your SUV gets a puncture.