I’m sitting in a hotel after a day full of sightseeing in London, and after having an awesome day touring the Palace of Westminster and shopping in Harrods, I am left with a nagging feeling of irritation. This often happens when I navigate London streets, make my way through the underground system, and battle the crowds of Christmas shoppers, and today was no different.
Now, those of you who know me are probably thinking that it’s rich of me to say this and that they’ve known more polite or tolerant people than me, but I really do believe that manners are free and not used enough.
Firstly: Please, Thank You, and Excuse Me are some of the first phrases you learn as a child, and the first things you pick up in a foreign language. They’re easy to say, easy to understand, and require pretty much know effort. And yet for some reason, they leave people’s heads the second they are in a crowded place/think their path or right of way is more important than yours/try to squeeze through a gap that really isn’t there. It’s a maximum of 2 words, I’m sure everyone could manage it.
Secondly: Sorry. It’s a single word. I can say it in at least 3 languages, and I know almost everyone can say it who navigates around London. And yet, no-one says it for rolling over your foot repeatedly with their suitcase, they don’t say it when they elbow past you or shove you to go round you, they don’t utter it when they decide to take up the whole pavement and then walk at a snail’s pace. They do say it if you do the awkward ‘I’ll go this way, no this way dance, when arguably there’s nothing the say sorry for.
Thirdly: I’m English and 100% hold up to the stereotype of appreciating an efficient queue. Done properly, a queue is fair, a queue is orderly, and a queue is polite. Don’t push in guys. Don’t complain and shove forward. Don’t crush. Don’t save places. Just be polite and queue. It’s real simple.
Fourthly: When you hear the platform announcer saying mind the doors, don’t be the idiot who runs and gets jammed in the doors. The underground trains come practically every minute. Just wait, one will roll in right behind. And don’t be the insufferable selfish prick who gets something stuck in the door and holds the train up.
Fifthly: Be considerate of your surroundings when you’re walking anywhere. Shoving someone put the way to rush past is not OK. Dragging your suitcase on, over, or through people is rude and it hurts: watch uour suitcase and be mindful of the fact it can cause damage. And yes, your shopping bags are weapons, so wield them to clear a space.
I realise that this is just a rant, but it has been brewing. Thanks for letting me get if off my chest!!