Keep Left...or Right...Just Keep to One Side!

When walking the streets in Australia, if you see someone coming towards you, you usually move to the side, whether it be the left or right, you try to take up less space, and it's usually mutual, both parties walking towards each other take evasive action to avoid walking into each other.

I'm not a member of this Pram Posse!

Not so in America. I thought maybe it was just a New York thing when we first got there, it seemed to me that even when you made eye contact with the person coming towards you, they just kept on walking towards you and it was up to myself and Dave to move out of their way. But I can tell you, it's not just a New York's an American thing. People were the same in Anaheim. And it was only the Americans. People of other nationalities made an effort to share the path, but the Americans, they want everyone else to move for them.

And it pissed us off BIG TIME! It's just so friggin rude! Now I know this is a fair generalisation, and perhaps we just went to places where the Americans were just so oblivious to everyone but themselves, but the same thing did not happen in Canada, or even in Hawaii as much, I guess because most of the people around Waikiki are tourists and a high proportion are not from the Continental US. A lot of them are from Japan, and they understand sharing the footpath.

The funny thing is, since becoming a member of the Pram Posse, I'm starting to realise that perhaps it was only me that moved out of the way. That perhaps this mutual moving to the side that I thought happened in Australia, didn't. Because now that I have less manoeuvrability and find it less easy to move out of someones way, I find that people here don't move to the side. I haven't done a lot of shopping with Punky and the pram or stroller, but the few times I have, I find that people just don't give a damn that it's harder for me with a pram to make room than it is for the other person with nothing but themselves to move. Even when they see you coming from a mile off they still continue on their same course, not making any effort to avoid the pram or stroller.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting that everyone should make way for the queen with her pram, but they could at least move to the side a little so I don't have to come to a complete stop and wait for them to come face to face with me and then move. I've tried to be very careful when getting about with the stroller, and make sure I keep out of people's way as much as possible, and don't block walkways or doorways or high pedestrian areas, but sometimes there is only so much you can do. I could just run the pram into people's shins, but I'm above that. For now.

Maybe it's just me, but when I see a man or woman with a pram, or a man or woman in a wheelchair, or a man or woman pushing anything for that matter, I automatically move to the side to allow them greater room to get through, as it's easier for me to manoeuvre than for them. To me it's just common courtesy, but I'm discovering that apparently that courtesy isn't actually that common!

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Anonymous said…
I was just looking at this photo and noticed that all the kids were facing the front in the strollers. I read somewhere that this new phenomenon, i.e. having the kids facing forward is quite a fearful experience for babies.

In the old days, the child had momma to watch. this is the most delightful thing for a kid instead of dogs and cars and strangers. Doctors are not sure that baby remembers that mama is behind pushing.
Amy xxoo said…
Ah, a lady after my own heart! My parents were very big on teaching us basic manners, like moving to the side a bit to let someone by, or holding the door for someone if you were entering/exiting at around the same time ( regardless of man/woman/child. ) And i still do that but i am constantly amazed, no annoyed, by the people who dont.
Oh, and as anside to your other commenter, studies on forward vs rearward facing babies in the pram are pretty inconclusive. For every study that says looking at Mum is best, you'll one that says the opposite...
Bethany said…
I hate it when that happens. Some people are not aware of their surroundings sometimes. Something similar happened to me years ago. I was in a hurry to change my baby's cloth nappies and I bumped a guy with the stroller who apparently didn't see me coming.

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