My outside time in Annapolis was interesting today. Mildly interesting. Could be considered interesting if you cock your head to the side and squint.
When I’m running and I come up even with someone who’s coming from the other direction, I acknowledge them. Sometimes I smile, sometimes I wave, sometimes I nod or say good morning, but I always acknowledge them. Seems rude not to. And when I do something, I expect some kind of acknowledgement back. It seems rude to ignore me. It doesn’t have to be the same. You don’t have to wave back if I wave. Just nod. It’s fine. It’s similar to getting the little wave from the drive of the car you just let turn in front of you or merge into your lane.
In Ashburn, maybe half the people I passed waved (or whatevered) back. In Annapolis, it’s been better – maybe 75% acknowledge me back. Most days. There was one day, maybe last week, that I must have passed 20 runners and only THREE of them smiled back at me. Bad day.
Today, I have no idea how many people I passed, but one of the very first was this woman running towards me, and she had the friendliest face. Her smile was genuine and really nice, and I got the impression that she just really likes people. It was nice and it helped. I wish I could have told her that, but it would have been weird to turn around and chase after her.
Then I tripped over a traffic cone and almost fell into traffic. Annapolis sidewalks are pretty narrow, and when the city puts up signs about parking or road closures, they block the whole width the sidewalk and go out into the street a little. I was trying to go around it and stay near the traffic cones so I wouldn’t end up in traffic, but I guess I got too close. And of course there were cars coming. I didn’t fall (it was close), and my desperate arm-swinging shifted me back towards the sidewalk, so it all worked out. The driver of the car I almost fell in front of probably thought I was having a seizure, but there’s nothing I can do about that.
Then later, I was driving down a narrow street with cars parked along one side and barely enough room for my car to fit, and a family was walking down the sidewalk toward me, and this woman was walking in the road. Not partly on the curb and partly on the street, not near the curb, just IN the street. She didn’t seem worried that I was driving her way and might hit her. I mean, I didn’t, and I wouldn’t, but still. Don’t walk in the street when there are cars driving AT you!