Thursday, 16 April 2009

How to be annoying .....

Having pushed my way once again with great difficulty through the crowd of unconcerned parents and children around the door of the Salesianos at end of school time today, I remembered that I had one day made a list of the little things which had annoyed me. So here goes:-

How to be annoying ...
  • ... on an escalator.
  1. Ignore any notices suggesting that you should stand on one side so that people can go past you if they wish. Instead, stand squarely in the middle of the step, taking up as much room as possible.
  • ... in the street.
  1. Walk in a group of four or, failing that, three and a dog. Spread yourselves across the width of the pavement and progress just slowly enough so to annoy those behind you who, naturally, cannot manage to overtake you.
  2. Stop your group to greet an old friend you have just seen approaching from the opposite direction or to say goodbye, at length, to one of your number who is about to turn off or even enter his house. Spend several minutes talking, being sure to take up as much space as possible, preferably the whole width of the pavement.
  3. When walking alone, stop suddenly in the very middle of the pavement to make or answer a phone call, involving as much noisy talking and lively arm-waving as possible.
  4. Exit shops at top speed without regard for anyone who might already be walking along that bit of the street.
  5. Stand and talk to a friend or make a phone while your annoying little dog stretches its retractable lead across the width of the pavement.
  6. Stop to coo over a friend's recently acquired offspring, trying hard to position the baby carriage centrally across the pavement restricting the progress of other pedestrians.
  • ... at pedestrian crossings.
  1. Light a cigarette, making sure that you are in a position where the wind can blow your smoke into the faces of as many as possible of the other people waiting to cross.
  • ... at the supermaket checkout.
  1. Ask insistently if anyone minds if you go first as you have only 2/3/4/5 items and besides you have a bus to catch and clearly have a much busier life than anyone else in the queue.
On the plus side...
  • ... I have on a number of occasions been offered the chance to go ahead of someone in the supermarket check-out queue when the other person has a trolley full of goods and I have just a few items.
  • ... on cafe terraces and in open squares everyone keeps an eye on the children who are running around.
  • ... more often than not dog-owners carry around pooper-scooper bags for their doggy do-dos.
  • ... Spanish people themselves do not seem to be worried by these minor annoyances that pop up on a fairly regular basis. As a result there are very few angry interchanges.
This is just another aspect of life in Spain!

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