Saturday, June 24, 2006

Different rules in different places

Have you ever noticed that there seem to be a number of key events - when visiting new places - that tell you a bit about local culture? One is the behaviour of drivers (car drivers that is). In places like Johannesburg you can be certain that if you as a pedestrian cross a road, some driver invariably will enjoy accelerating madly towards you. In other places drivers automatically slow down and stop. Halifax seems to be in the latter category. I just crossed an interchange when a car came towards me. I started running to save my sorry little life, much to the amusement of the driver wo slowed down to let me pass (smiling at that). In Johannesburg my life would have likely ended, the driver cursing the dead body for bloodying his SUV. - Different places, different rules.
But hey, not all is rosy. Small as Halifax is, during my morning stroll down a street lined with shopfronts I encountered no less than 5 beggars. Not subscribing to the idea that it is sensible to provide hand-outs to beggars in societies with functioning welfare systems I politely declined. Surprisingly, 2 of em cursed me (including using the f*** word). This I never encountered in Glasgow, which in many respects is a rougher kinda place. - Different places, different rules.
Hey, and before you tell me off for using anecdotal evidence to make a point about different places, different cultures. I know, but thanks for reminding me anyway :).

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