First, the footpaths are a crowed place with people headed to a wide variety of places for an even wider variety of reasons. In order to navigate through the masses, I have found it best to square my shoulders, point my elbows, and march as quickly as possible to where I’m going. The pointed elbows are a key point in this method, as without the jab of an elbow to remind folks coming too close you will be overcrowded in seconds.
Secondly, the five Ds: Dip, Dodge, Duck, Dive and…Dodge your way around old people and couples as these meanderers will hold you up for half a week and are guaranteed to step right into your way every time you attempt to overtake. And don’t for one second think that you can step off the footpath and go around wide because the streets are not the place for a pedestrian!
Mostly because a car might decide to park on your leg should it happen to land anywhere off the footpath, and hey that’s the driver’s prerogative.
Now I know this attitude of strolling across the road is possibly uniquely Irish, or perhaps just Galwegian, as our Medieval streets afford crossing in two strides or less throughout almost the entire city. Luckily, I’m a quick learner and have not been foolish enough to wander across the 8 lanes standing between the supermarket and my flat.
Zipping from place to place. Zooming around trying to make good time and be a general menace to society these creatures pose a threat to anyone brave enough to walk to work. What are they? Scooters.
Not the silver steel children’s variety either, but full-on motorized scooters that require a licence to drive. These mainly belong to the delivery men of fast food chains like McDonald’s and Lotteria but can also include workmen and people who are just too terrified to drive on the road.
So, between dodging other pedestrians, and avoiding stepping into the lanes of traffic you must also avoid the ‘toot-toot’ and the ‘put-put-put-put-put’-ing of the delivery scooters who are looking to deliver their precious cargo of fried food by the quickest possible route which includes going through you if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In fact, the other night the man who brought my 3AM McDonald’s also delivered to my doorstep, four casualties and a flattened teenager he had struck while bringing my McChicken-something-or-other.
Listening to an iPod carries a massive health and safety warning too because if I miss even one ‘toot-toot’ it’s curtains for me!