Article – Paul Gioffi Well Weathered Edition 182018-03-28T09:23:30+00:00

Well Weathered

Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations

Monthly Travel Column by Paul W. Gioffi
Edition 18

Disclaimer: While travel can be exciting and rewarding there are unforeseen dangers that may arise. The Information presented in Paul’s articles is the author’s personal opinion and what may have worked for him yesterday may not work for someone else today or tomorrow. Therefore, you agree to use any and all information provided by the author at your own risk and agree that you will hold the author and ISR harmless in regard to any and all instances that may arise or result from use of this material.

Following, you’ll find travel tip 39 from Paul W. Gioffi. To read the introduction to this column which began in February of 2006 please see Edition 1. To access other previous editions please see the Index.

Entry 39: Space Case

Why do people continue to bump into me? It’s a matter of proximity and depth perception, and how each of us moves through space, literally. Strangely, wherever I travel, no matter how much space there is between me and someone else, that person will eventually alter his/her trajectory and slam into me. Perhaps their internal biological, global positioning systems have malfunctioned. Genetics, upbringing, role-modeling, occupation, social niche, population density, people being late for something and other cultural aspects must certainly play an important part in this bizarre occurrence of space-relations breakdown. I use New York City, one of the world’s largest and most densely populated metropolitan areas in the world, as my comparison, where the bumping game doesn’t seem to happen to me. There’s an unwritten code that you move to one side when cruising down a sidewalk, you wait at a bus stop with a least a meter between you and the next person, you leave at least one body length between you and the fellow standing in front of you in line, and park benches -forget about it. Don’t even think about sitting next to me (Perhaps that’s why many people have labeled New Yorkers as ´cold´). Getting accustomed to the closeness of others when traveling in foreign lands was, and is, an interesting process. Step on my feet, knock me to one side, give me a bump, and then walk away without even saying ´sorry´ or even acknowledging my existence. Close encounters of the rudest kind? Congestion, traffic jams, overpopulation and everyone being in a rush are all attributes of city living and are the perfect catalysts for putting someone on a collision course. I’ve discovered that in some cultures, it’s appropriate to just keep walking after a ´hit and run.´ Initially, when I stopped, turned and gave a menacing look to the assailant, they would look back at me as if I had done something wrong. Taking into account the rapid growth of urban areas, and how the suburbs are transforming into cities themselves, it appears as though the bump and grind is becoming more commonplace. I still find the exchange a bit uncomfortable, however.

Well Weathered Article Index

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s edition of Well-Weathered Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations. Check back next month for a new entry. Until then, safe travels.
Contact me at Well_Weathered@yahoo.com

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