Tuesday, January 8, 2013

walk the walk

Do you walk like you drive?

I was observing the students on campus today as I was doing the mail run.  All the students heading North were walking on the right hand side of the walkway and all the students heading South were walking on the left. Or visa versa if you are watching them from the other side.  What I really mean is they were walking the same way they would drive, keeping to the right hand side and passing each other on the left.  It was almost like there was an invisible line down the centre of the sidewalk.

Is this an unwritten walking rule or is it just a matter of habit.  Try going the other way and you feel like a salmon going up stream.

I wonder in countries where they drive on the other side of the road if they also walk on the other side of the sidewalk?   hmmm?

Observe for yourself the next time you go out for a walk.  Which side of the sidewalk do you walk on, left or right?  What about everyone else?

Is this why we train our dogs to walk on our left side?  So they can be a buffer between us and the other people on the walkway.

Did you ever wonder why we drive on the right while the Englishmen drive on the left?  From what I understand the Englishmen found riding/driving on the left hand side of the road made it easier to draw your sword and fight or protect yourself. Most imperial countries followed suit.  The story goes that the French and Napoleon didn't like to do what the English did so they chose to drive on the right hand. Those countries controlled by France also took to the right.   African countries, as they gained their independence would also change so as to separate themselves from England.

In Canada, the Maritime provinces and British Columbia initially drove on the left, but changed to the right to make border crossings to and from other provinces and the US easier.   So even though we are still part of the Common Wealth, our driving is inspired by the French.

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