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Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Rosedale, Toronto

When people’s yards are snowbound like these days (‘jaya’ to the gradual meltdown), and the sidewalks, although cleared, are quite narrow. Pedestrians get challenged. I have to think twice as to which side of the sidewalk to walk on when seeing an oncoming walker. God knows I just came from India, and the general rule there is ‘stay to the left’, whereas here in North America, you ‘stay to the right.’

Let me clarify one point – when the British ran India, they were rigid about being to the left. Somehow, today it doesn’t fully stick. India sometimes seems to have picked up on the American trend. In other words, you can go British or American. It’s any which way. It can be confusing.

Generally, when I take my walk and I have one or more companions with me, I have to sometimes assist them in lining up to get behind me in order to show other oncoming pedestrians some courtesy. I’m with a person from the Ukraine and someone fresh out of India; everyone gravitates differently depending on cultural norms, perhaps?

Today I made a mistake of hogging the sidewalk when talking to Lucy who was with her dog. Ruslan was also with me, so three adults and one pet blocked the way. A neighbour lady came our way while we were in conversation. She let us know, with some attitude, that she needed to avoid the piled-up snow.

“Sorry!” I apologized like a polite person. I felt guilty. I guess I’m still suffering from the culture log of India – any which way!

3 km

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