In non-news, yesterday we watched a never-seen-anywhere-else-we’ve-lived weather-induced phenomenon (I am trying to break a hyphenated-sentence record).
While out on our evening stroll through downtown, heavy rain started pouring, driving many shoppers to line up execution-style, their backs pressed tight against the buildings for shelter in that miniscule 18-inch ribbon of dry pavement next to the wall.
Witnessing this led me to reflect on what this unique behavior would lead to in other parts of the world.
Do this in the Pacific Northwest and you’ll be waiting for the weather to clear from November til April. Try it in Manitoba or North Dakota and soon a sheath of ice will form over you, rendering you immobile until spring.
Lining up in this fashion in a giant American metropolis will lead criminals to assume you are volunteering to be relieved of your wallet or purse, getting you mugged within two minutes. The good news is that ambulance attendants will arrive to get you out of the rain, although you will be in a prone position, likely for quite some time. If you are single, this is even better as you are about meet a lot of doctors, just as your mother always hoped. You might not look your best, but the doctors will be too busy checking your intubation tube to notice. See how a little rain can change your life?
In Victoria, British Columbia, muggers are more polite and will ask for your money instead. Many would-be robberies are aborted in this way as the prospective victim is often unaware he has a role to play. And in true Victoria form, the mugger will be too polite to point out this faux pas to the victim, and let it pass. This happens dozens of times a day there.
In Australia, line up against a wall and someone will hand you a beer. Do this in Spain’s Plaza Mayor and locals will assume you’ve had too much beer, search you for it and take it away.
I did wonder how long the Swiss would stand there, but as it turned out, the locals knew what they were doing. Within a few minutes, the rain paused in an orderly polite Swiss manner (just as it started, quickly and on time) and the crowds meandered back onto the roadway. I should point out, this area is a no-car zone, so no tremendous traffic excitement ensued. In the meantime, the Swiss had a sociable time chattering with their fellow rain-refugees, presumably about the weather.
In other news that matters to no one in particular, yesterday I was told twice that I speak French very well, proving that you can get by in a foreign language on only two sentences, as long as you pronounce them very well.
And finally, I’ve been told I am living a rich-lady-life, which sounds pretty glamorous, but in the interest of truth, allow me to dispel that myth by sharing the view outside of our flat.