Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On personal space, cycle laws, and supermarkets.

In the past few days, I have found myself in a bit of a quandary. On both of my National Express bus trips and today while waiting to catch a train back to Norwich, my personal space has been grossly invaded. In my first bus incident, I was trying to sleep, curled up next to the window and listening to my I-Pod, clearly on my half of the pair of seats. However, the man seated next to met bumped my arm, elbow, and leg no less than thirty times during a two and a half hour ride, causing me to never quite fall asleep. I didn't say anything, because I didn't want to cause trouble, but I wished I had. The following day, on my return journey, I was seated next to a fellow who insisted on reading his newspaper but clunking into me every time he turned the page, clearly extending his body into my airspace. This was outrageous, but once again, I didn't want to cause conflict. After today's incident of a similar nature, I have come to a conclusion: This behavior is curiously acceptable in the United Kingdom.

Perhaps Americans' strategy of mutually assured destruction (we never know who we are seated next to who's carry a nine millimeter handgun or a Glock or a Smith & Wesson revolver) prevents such infractions from taking place. But I am 100% sure that if I literally rubbed against someone the wrong way in Philadelphia, I could expect not only a verbal lashing, but maybe even some physical violence directed toward me.

Stay tuned for future updates concerning British Supermarkets and Cycle Laws!