Having traipsed along Oxford Street during the human traffic rush hours for a few weeks now, I feel more than experienced to vent frustrations with the zoo known as Oxford Circus and its surroundings. Top peeves:
1. Umbrellas: Emily Post should have written a book on Umbrella Etiquette. I nearly get an umbrella in the eye about three times a day. People should have to pass tests to own and use one. If you are walking and someone is nearby, raise your umbrella up. Please.
2. Arms as weapons: People who swing their arms with such alacrity that they seem to either be warming up to lob a large object or to smash their fists into people’s genitalia. Either way: Stop it.
3. Traffic: In general, this should be banned from Oxford Street. This includes you, you “I-follow-my-own-rules” cyclists.
4. Cross-flow walk: Attempting the bisect-walk (or, trying to walk directly into a shop when people are madly walking up and down the footpath). Cannot be done without upsetting 70% of pedestrians.
5. The faux-sorry (the “forry”): Blatant non-attempts at genteelness. People say “Sorry” as such a non-thinking reflex that it barely registers. The other day a young woman, whom I slipped past hurriedly, must have assumed that she was somehow in my way and blurted out a sorry that sounded more like, “Slaaaaaaagggggghhhhhh”. Er, I’ll take silence thanks.
6. The lack of diversity of shopping: How can I barely walk a few blocks and manage to pass three River Islands and three HMs? I actually do buy clothes from these shops but still…
7. The new crossing at Oxford Circus: Does it help things at all? Not really. I end up sprinting like a madwoman at any opportunity, traffic lights be damned.
8. Myself: For having enough anger and annoyance to write this article and still having enough fuel to continue this list to 20.