When I first entered England, one of my friends tried to teach me how to drive. After hyperventilating at a roundabout and then watching her almost drive her car into her apartment building because I left it in gear, it became clear I was destined to be a pedestrian in this country. I walk or take public transportation almost everywhere and its weird because I try my best to avoid public transportation in America. Anyways, when I first got to Sheffield I got lost a lot. I took an hour detour on my 10 minute walk back to my house, I took a bus to Ecclesfield instead of Ecclesall Road which took me about an hour away from where I was meant to be going. There was also the time where I got on the bus home but the bus didn’t take me home, I had to jump off somewhere (to which I still have no clue where). Naomi rang me to ask if I was home and laughed at me because I couldn’t actually tell her where I was. Being a pedestrian is challenging sometimes but there are some things that annoy me and I have to tell everyone what they are: (yes, another list)
1. Prams. baby strollers, babies: I don’t mind kids let’s get that out of the way first, and most of the time I can’t hear them screaming on the bus because I have my headphones on. But seriously, does every Mom in this country with a child under the age of 5 not work? And if the answer to that is approximately yes, why are they always shopping?
2. Why do people feel the need to walk right on your heels? As if its not bad enough that people drive right behind you in a car making it dangerous to stop suddenly, now I have to deal with people literally breathing down my neck when I walk
3. When you are walking and someone is walking next to you, at the same pace, and you don’t know them. This happened to me the other night when I was walking home from the library. It is a little awkward.
4. Cars! and busses, and trucks. They never want to let you cross the street. Ever.
5. England this is a serious question. Why do you have gates up forcing people to walk all the way down the street to cross the street and then walk all the way back up the street. Have you not heard the saying the quickest distance between two points is a straight line? So now not only do I have to walk a few extra feet out of the way to cross the street, I then have to wait for cars that don’t let me cross the street to stop.
6. Bus times: the bus never comes on time when you need it to and is always early when you are running late. Go figure.
7. Cars parked on the sidewalk: We aren’t allowed to do it in America so its weird to see it so often, but when my face is getting scraped by branches and bushes and I go home with leaves in my hair I’m wondering if its fair that parked cars get to take up all the prime walking space.
Lucky for me, I live very close to city campus where all my course workshops take place and even closer to the gym we practice at so I can ride the bike Naomi lent me there. But cycling in this country is a whole other post that I do not have time for! (I will get one of those bright green jackets one day, and a light, and a helmet).