When in Rome…

Travel etiquette: Lesson 1

The phrase is actually “When in Rome, do as the Romans do“*, and it originated in the year 387 A.D.. Sadly, the phrase seems to have lost its meaning over the centuries. You see it was originally meant to be taken as a lesson in how to be polite when you travel, whereas now, more often than not, I see it used as justification for doing what everyone else is doing. Today, however, I would like to think of it as it was originally meant.

I currently reside in a large city, and I’m not talking suburbs here, I mean in the middle of it all. I absolutely love it, for many reasons, I’m sure I’ll mention at some other time. However, when it is a holiday, a beautiful day, or any other day where people feel the urge to come into town to do what it is they want to do, for some reason these people seem to forget there are people who actually live here. So, with that fact, and the phrase “When in Rome…” in your mind, I thought I would share a few ‘tips’ that those of us who actually live here** would like for all the visitors to know.

  1. We understand that you are with a group of people, and you want to talk and have fun while you are walking around, but please remember that you are not the only ones walking through the city, or the aisles of the stores.
    1. Please do not take up the entire width of the area you are walking in, making it difficult for people to pass you.
    2. Please do not stop in the middle of the sidewalk/aisle to have a discussion, or check your phone, ‘pull over’ to the side to allow traffic to continue to move.
    3. Please remember that traffic on the sidewalk flows the same directions as traffic on the streets.
  2. Please do not stand in front of the entrances to buildings. It makes those of us who are normally very nice people, want to slam the door into you. I realize that may seem a bit much, but when it happens 6 out of 7 days, it gets old – quickly.

Now, I know I’ve made a faux pas or twenty, in my travels. I had to learn this stuff myself, by observing, researching, and talking to people***. So I’m just trying to pass on my knowledge, in hopes that others will benefit from it. 🙂

*Not to be confused with the movie
**here being relative to where you are visiting – this applies to any city
***I’m still learning

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