Saturday, February 23, 2008

Urban Greetings

Jogging over Wimbledon Common this morning,
customs or manners of greeting one's fellow man or woman around town
seem as prevalent in their own C21 way as they have always
been down the generations.

Normally these days, London's sheer volume of people limits the possibility of
greeting others passed by or met by chance,
to friends and colleagues unless a major event or disaster is happening,
when universal greetings can become the norm. Otherwise studiously
avoiding acknowledging others, is more or less the universal custom.

Commons' greetings however are different. Joggers invariably greet/acknowledge
other even complete stranger joggers except those who seem to be
pro. or on a mission who may still
adopt the prevalent non acknowledgement custom. On the other
hand joggers and cyclers (fits better than cyclists) sharing the same tracks ignore each
other and dog walkers likewise except when the dog goes on the rampage.
Horse riders tend to acknowldge few people below horse height
unless they know them when a shouted greeting will break through
the jogger's automatic pilot mode.

An acknowledgement can even become a conversation
without words when the same jogger is passed at the same time
at the same place over a few months
- unspoken greetings at such times for some reason can be very touching.

C21 urban life is thankfully full of such small
but important reminders of our common humanity and spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Golfers I should have added are usually in the non greet crowd
    but spotting a lost golf ball
    does elicit some goodwill. On the
    other hand an occasional bellowed "fore" does not feel like
    a greeting.


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