Relearning Canadian Pedestrian Etiquette

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When I was walking around Ottawa with a friend of mine earlier this week, she kept hopping behind me as people approached us. It was bizarre and made me uncomfortable. Was she afraid of the Ottawa locals? Had she recently been mugged? 

“Why are you doing that?”, I asked (in the impolite, heavily accented townie dialect I’ve been quick to readopt in the weeks since my return).

“There’s somebody coming.” She gave me a strange look.

“So?”

A long pause followed. Then, it hit me. 

“Oh… you’re letting people by, instead of forcing them to either elbow around you or wade through the row of dog shit which lines the sidewalk. I get it. That’s very… considerate of you. I should probably start doing that again.”

When I was walking around Ottawa with a friend of mine earlier this week, she kept hopping behind me as people approached us. It was bizarre and made me uncomfortable. Was she afraid of the Ottawa locals? Had she recently been mugged? 

“Why are you doing that?”, I asked (in the impolite, heavily accented townie dialect I’ve been quick to readopt in the weeks since my return).

“There’s somebody coming.” She gave me a strange look.

“So?”

A long pause followed. Then, it hit me. 

“Oh… you’re letting people by, instead of forcing them to either elbow around you or wade through the row of dog shit which lines the sidewalk. I get it. That’s very… considerate of you. I should probably start doing that again.”



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