My youngest sister's approach to crossing roads is this:
Cross the damn road.
Mine is this:
Spot a level crossing or zebra crossing in the far distance with a pair of binoculars. Walk a mile to it. Wait, checking carefully that cars have stopped, and that the light is green/the way across is clear. Check again for feckless motorists who don't believe in stopping despite the presence of a human body. Cross the road, checking all the time. Walk the mile back to original position.
I am not a risk-taker. She is. I like to check, do a risk assessment, then move. She just MOVES.
She's the same sister who hates public transport because it doesn't go straight from A to B. For me, I like the fact that my favourite bus, which could get me from home to work in five minutes if it went directly, travels via four housing estates, stopping seventeen times to pick up locals with whom the driver has a long chat about the weather or Mrs Jones' operation before it moves on.
For me, this pace is just right. I think I was a tortoise in a former existence. One with a limp. Or maybe I was a stone. I hate to feel harried or rushed. I don't even like a stiff breeze, pushing me along the road like a nag, saying, 'Come on, come on.'
I took my sister on a long bus journey only once. Half way to our destination, she said, 'This is really annoying me. It's just stop, start, stop, start, stop, start all the way.'
'But,' I said, 'how else would people get on and off?'
'Hm,' she said.
|If I hurry a little, thought the tortoise, I can pass that plump lady with the glasses easily|