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Umbrella Etiquette

April 15, 2009

I “studied” abroad in London. I put that in quotes, because I actually did a work abroad program where I got an internship and had to take one class (I took “Modern Theater and the London Stage which meant getting to see some plays for free!”) and then write a paper about my internship/experiences after the program.
Point is, I lived in London from January-April. It rained while I was there.
One of the first things I noticed when walking the London streets during the frequent showers was how efficient people were with their umbrellas. I enjoyed watching the rising and falling tops of umbrellas as their owners navigated the busy streets. I was fascinated by this practice and immediately instituted it. Really, I had to in order to get by walking to and from work, the tube, the pub, you get the point.
Why haven’t American’s caught on to this? I walk through rainy New York and want to yell at everyone who walks around clueless with their umbrella getting in everyone’s way. Just lift it up, you won’t get wet, in fact you’ll help your fellow New Yorker who is trying to get around you not get wet. Even when I lift mine up, people don’t lower theirs a bit to let me get around them more easily, do they not get it?
I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised. New Yorkers may be known for moving quickly, but I think that stereotype needs to be corrected. New Yorkers just don’t care about what is going on around them. If they want to walk quickly, they will. If they want to stand in the middle of the sidewalk with their dogs wandering out in a radius around them talking on their cell phone, they will. If they want to walk really slowly and weave across the entire sidewalk so that no one can pass them, they will. New Yorkers just don’t care.

There should be classes for this stuff.

End rant.

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