I live in Edinburgh, and I usually walk along the Royal Mile on my way to and from work. For people who haven’t been to Edinburgh: the Royal Mile is the street that runs from the Palace of Holyroodhouse up to the Castle; it’s mainly populated by tourist shops and shopping tourists, but it’s quite a nice street for all that, and has some nice pubs. During the Festival, however, which is currently underway, it becomes a bit of a nightmare, as the number of tourists increases manifold. The main source of annoyance are the dawdlers, who seem to fill the pavements, either standing still to chat or taking pictures, or wandering so slowly that they might as well be standing still. But I think the most annoying thing is how disinclined they are to move out of the way of someone who actually has somewhere to go. This seems a failure of basic manners, and I can see three possible explanations for the behaviour:
- Tourists forget how to behave properly;
- The people who do this are from countries where it’s not normal to move out of the way of people who want to get past;
- It’s an illusion, and most people are like this most of the time.
There may be more. But which is right? Or is there another explanation?