Friday, 13 July 2012

Annoyance #3: Avoiding the Risk-Pedestrian

Is Singapore a perfect place? Almost.... Of course, at any place in the world there are big things and little things that are annoying. I thought it would be a good time to give you my top 3 annoyances, which will be the topic of my next 3 blogs. Today, at number three we find:


Ever since I have been living in Singapore, I keep on bumping into people. Walking down the street, or in shopping malls, requires a sharp eye and full concentration for a continuous sequence of pedestrian avoiding maneuvers. I tried to make an analysis of this, since beside being an annoyance, I hope it can be of help to those new to Singapore.
After thorough study, I must conclude that he major Risk-Pedestrians tend to fall in either one of the following categories:

The Impulse-Stopper
This is most tricky Risk-Pedestrian, and the cause of the majority of my pedestrian collisions. The Impulse-Stopper can and will, at random moments, decide to stop in the middle of a full stream of pedestrians. A look at the iPhone, a billboard, a store with an 'ON SALE' sign, a sudden thought..... the Impulse-Stopper will stop when he or she feels like it, without any look over the shoulder. When walking behind an Impulse-Stopper, the sudden stop requires a split-second reaction. One possibility is to stop immediately as well. This is risky, as the pedestrian behind you will now see YOU as the Impulse-Stopper and has to react. Another, more safe and effective maneuver is the quick-side-step-maneuver, fluently bringing your arm and shopping bag with the six-pack and bottle of wine behind you as you pass. The elegance of the quick-side-step maneuver varies greatly with the given reaction time and the available space.

A more innocent Risk-Pedestrian:

The Direction-Changer.
 The Direction-Changer can be on either side of you, walking at the same speed, and than suddenly change direction towards you. The Direction-Changer can usually be avoided by a subtle acceleration or deceleration.

The most challenging Risk-Pedestrian is:

The Collision-Seeker
The Collision-Seeker is the only Risk-Pedestrian that I believe has evil intent. The Collision-Seeker will, as implied by the name, seek a collision course. The Collision-Seeker however will not look at you, but she (they tend to be females) will stubbornly look down, and act as if she only sees the one meter in front of her. She pretends not to see you. But YOU know she saw you. And you know, that SHE knows that you know that she saw you. She seems to enjoy the thrill. The next few seconds are crucial; a miniature chicken race at 5 km/hr; if you both keep bluffing, you will collide. Who will change direction? Or, the ultimate humiliation, even stop? One has to give in.....Unfortunately I do not always win. But I am getting better at it!