I've started back to work this week. Back to the bus/metro commute. It still surprises me how rude people are, how no-one pays attention to the world around them. Take for instance some (not all, but many) bicyclists who blow through stop signs and red lights because they think it doesn't apply to them, so that they almost hit pedestrians. Also, other pedestrians - not waiting patiently for lights, just crossing the street wherever and whenever they want, assuming that they have the law on their side so no one's going to hit them. As a driver, it really really frustrates me. Yes, I WILL stop for you if you are in the cross walk and you don't just jump out in front of me. But if you're jaywalking and just assuming I'll stop - grrrrrr. Then as a pedestrian myself, I try and work WITH traffic at corners. I watch and try and let everyone have a chance - IF they're paying attention. But DON'T honk at me if you think I'm not moving fast enough - unless you're in pain or on the way to an emergency, NOTHING in life is worth getting all worked up over, pissed and rushed about.
And then there are those who walk (and sometimes bike!!) with headphones on. I personally find this really really puzzling. Firstly, how can you watch/listen for traffic (vehicle, bike, or pedestrian) if you're locked into your own world? Doesn't this not only risk your life, but put you in the way of other's lives? What if you walk out in front of someone, they swerve to miss you and end up hurting themselves or someone else, just because you weren't paying attention? And then there's just the thought of missing the world around you - how can you hear the birds? The voices and laughter? The bark of a dog? There are so many sounds in the world - why close yourself off from all of that?
I sometimes mention how loud music actually hurts my ears, and people say "why not use earplugs?" but the problem there is - it's too complete. I end up feeling rather paranoid and cut off from the world...it's way too unnatural to me. I'm part of the world, and while it's sometimes really hard to deal with, I really don't want to cut myself off from it.
Update: Ok, two more pet peeves...
1) Unless there is absolutely NO traffic, if you have the red light and the sign says don't walk THEN DON'T WALK!! Do NOT expect me to stop when I have the green to let you cross. WAIT YOUR TURN. I don't even care if you are in a wheelchair!! Obey the lights/signs.
2) When you are riding a motorcycle, you are a vehicle IN TRAFFIC. Do not cut past me on the curb side in the bike lane....especially when I'm in the process of TURNING RIGHT!!