I read a long article in “The Economist” about the decisions that pedestrians make in order to avoid colliding with others walking towards them in the opposite direction.
It said that the natural behavior of most people in our Euro-American culture is to veer to the right side of the road when someone is coming toward us. It is important that both sides will make the same decision in order for this tactic to be effective…
According to the article, people in East Asia tend to veer to the left side, so there could be more collisions in our future as globalization mixes people from all around the globe.
I was walking on the sidewalk… The trees planted along it provided relieving shade but left little space for maneuvering.
A man was walking hurriedly toward me.
I looked at him; he didn’t look East Asian.
I started taking the right side of the road, but he continued walking on this side, his left side.
Then, just as I decided to give up on my quest for the right, suddenly he made a sharp turn to his right to avoid me.
His head was as hard as a rock and I saw stars all around me.
– Sorry Sir. I really didn’t mean it. I was reading in a magazine…
– Better watch your step and don’t read magazines while you’re walking on a public road!