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Lack of Spacial Acuity in Poland


delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
22 Jan 2010 #31
Today I was on a half-empty tram. An old bat in a fur coat walked right past a dozen empty seats and insisted that one of the few passengers who was sitting down should give up his seat.

Their particular fondness for travelling at peak times really winds me up as well, especially in the centre of the city. It's particularly grating to have them come on a very busy tram and glare at you if you don't immediately give them their seat - like being nasty is going to encourage me!

I've also noticed that many old bats have their favourite seats on the bus : woe betide anyone who sits there!

All this simply discourages me from ever giving anyone a seat.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
22 Jan 2010 #32
woe betide anyone who sits there!

Are these perchance the seats clearly marked "For the disabled, elderly, or mother with children"? ;-)
gibon
22 Jan 2010 #33
What gets me is people changing directions on the bus, like a game of musical chairs - some, even a lot of, people here really hate to sit with their back to the engine. Must be a reason.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
22 Jan 2010 #34
people here really hate to sit with their back to the engine. Must be a reason.

Yeah, there is a reason. I for one hate sitting that way. It makes me feel slightly nauseous. If the ride takes longer, the nausea rises in proportion ;-(
jonni 16 | 2,485
22 Jan 2010 #35
Magdalena

There was a scientific study done a couple of years ago about long train journeys. The result was that sitting with your back to the engine reduces stress levels and is ore relaxing.
Exiled 2 | 425
22 Jan 2010 #36
Usually slavic companion is good in trains unlike some other companions.
Juche 9 | 292
22 Jan 2010 #37
people here really hate to sit with their back to the engine. Must be a reason.

they like to see where they are going, not where they have already been. That is the Juche way.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
22 Jan 2010 #38
long train journeys

I only get sick on buses, no problems so far on trains :-)
Trevek 26 | 1,702
26 Jan 2010 #39
My worry is that this all happens concerning vehicles as well. There seems to be a total lack of awareness of reversing vehicles in car-parks etc, even when the weather is icy and there's no guarantee a driver can stop IF they see the person who insists on walking behind a moving vehicle.

Then there are those drivers who seem to see the huge space behind your car but fail to realise they can't drive through the 5cm gap until you have moved your car. Mind you, they will try and can't seem to understand that waiting 20 seconds for you to complete your manouver is quicker than the 5 minutes it takes everyone to scream, shout and reverse when they box you in.

What about all the cretins who step into the road and then decide to look and see if there's a car coming?

I think it's a zen thing. "If I walk looking straight ahead and believing that there are no vehicles on the road, then there are none!"

Of course, it would help if the pedestrian crossings/zebras weren't so ridiculously close to junctions.
Harry
26 Jan 2010 #40
My worry is that this all happens concerning vehicles as well.

You need to remember that the average Polish driver has as much contempt for the laws of physics as he has for road traffic laws.

I think it's a zen thing. "If I walk looking straight ahead and believing that there are no vehicles on the road, then there are none!"

No, it's actually the best way to cross the road. If you stand there looking at traffic, nobody will stop for you. If you appear not to be looking at all, people will stop for you. Of course you need to actually be looking very carefully and ready to throw yourself out of the way as needed but the theory generally works.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
26 Jan 2010 #41
Very perceptive, Harry, and very true. If I stand at a zebra crossing, assessing whether or not to go, they make the decision for me by speeding up and being 'decisive'. It has led to multiple accidents as the crossings have caused people to slip and not clear it. One girl broke her leg in 5 places as she felt hurried and fell horribly. They are death traps!

As for general spacial acuity, I do see a fair bit of bumping around. One of my students told me a funny story about him skiing in Wisła. He was going up the ski lift when he saw 2 snowboarders. They were the only people on the slope and thus had all the space in the world. He RdOTFL when he saw them collide at high speed. They were ferociously zigzagging across each others path when, BOOM, their luck ran out. LOL.

You can see it in shopping queues too. Sometimes, when waiting, I like to move back a bit but am met with a trolley parked right up my rear. On the streets, I don't think it's necessarily a question of spacial acuity, more that some people just don't want to get out of your way.

So, it's largely not lack of judgement in many cases. An American here feels uncomfortable when they get too close when asking questions. They are just more forthright. I notice it as I lived in Japan where, with the exception of crowded train lines, people really keep their distance. I was told off for getting too close when I felt that I was at a fine distance. I don't encroach.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
26 Jan 2010 #42
No, it's actually the best way to cross the road. If you stand there looking at traffic, nobody will stop for you. If you appear not to be looking at all, people will stop for you. Of course you need to actually be looking very carefully and ready to throw yourself out of the way as needed but the theory generally works.

In Poland it is probably the case. the problem is a driver is never sure if they have seen the car. I think it is a little different if they look and appear to see the car. It's probably precisely because Polish drivers DON'T stop at zebras which makes the pedestrian do it.

In my experience, stopping for pedestrians is dangerous, because even if they do cross (often they just stop and stare at you or wave you on) other drivers just tear across the crossing, looking at you to see what's wrong with you for stopping.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
26 Jan 2010 #43
That's why it's worth waiting for a clear run across. Otherwise, you could become a cropper.
cjj - | 281
27 Jan 2010 #44
and as a driver i've learned to attempt to judge what the pedestrian will do *without* appearing to look at them. too many times I've caught their eye and *woof* they've flung themselves off the footpath regardless of whether or not I was preparing to stop. there's a place in wrzeszcz(gdansk) near the skm where pedestrians treat the road like it was a pedestrian precinct ... and unless you (pretend to) ignore them they make all sorts of crazy "we have eye contact so he will stop" decisions.

i've nearly creamed babcias (albeit at about 30km/h) in this place because more often than not they don't even pause for a wheeze at the edge ... on they go.

and so i look fixedly ahead hoping to goodness i've accounted for all the moving furballs (wintertime) in my peripheral vision ...
OP BLS 65 | 188
27 Jan 2010 #45
i've nearly creamed babcias (albeit at about 30km/h) in this place because more often than not they don't even pause for a wheeze at the edge ... on they go.

and so i look fixedly ahead hoping to goodness i've accounted for all the moving furballs (wintertime) in my peripheral vision ...

Pause for a wheeze...moving furballs...classic! Your humor is greatly appreciated by this observer...
convex 20 | 3,978
27 Jan 2010 #46
In my experience, stopping for pedestrians is dangerous, because even if they do cross (often they just stop and stare at you or wave you on) other drivers just tear across the crossing, looking at you to see what's wrong with you for stopping.

I stop. It's the only way that it will change.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
27 Jan 2010 #47
So do I, but they still often wave me across (great, I've just p1ssed off the rest of the drivers behind me) or stare at me like a stunned cow, probably thinking I'm a mugger waiting for them to cross so i can run them over and steal their wallet.

Needless to say, it's also a great time for the Audis to overtake me...
convex 20 | 3,978
27 Jan 2010 #48
I've got foreign plates :) Like a goodwill ambassador of crosswalk etiquette.
Juche 9 | 292
3 Feb 2010 #49
speaking of crosswalk etiquette a dude almost ran me over on a crosswalk yesterday:( again. these people are like big children with big toys...
scottie1113 7 | 898
3 Feb 2010 #50
moving furballs

I loved this one.

I call them waddling widebodies because they're there all year long.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
3 Feb 2010 #51
speaking of crosswalk etiquette a dude almost ran me over on a crosswalk yesterday:( again. these people are like big children with big toys...

A friend asked somebody what the point of zebra crossing were in Poland when drivers never took any notice of them. The reply, "The insurance pays more when you are killed on one".
Harry
3 Feb 2010 #52
these people are like big children with big toys...

A woman drove into the side of the tram I was on this morning. We were going straight on across a roundabout, she wanted to turn left and just drove straight into the side of the tram. How the hell do you not see a tram which is directly in front of you?!
z_darius 14 | 3,968
3 Feb 2010 #53
We were going straight on across a roundabout

I thought it was not possible to go straight across a roundabout. That's why it's called a roundabout. It's round. Am I missing something?
Harry
3 Feb 2010 #54
Yes: trams do not go round roundabouts. Trams either go straight across roundabouts.

Look at this:

Look at the tram tracks
Trevek 26 | 1,702
3 Feb 2010 #55
How the hell do you not see a tram which is directly in front of you?!

Probably like the guy who had a head on with a bus in Olsztyn this week. Presumably (obnviously) had tried to overtake on a snowy road when there was a bus... how did he not see it?
Harry
3 Feb 2010 #56
Here's one showing what happens then there is a tram junction at a roundabout:
Trevek 26 | 1,702
3 Feb 2010 #57
They say that if you corner a rat it leaps for the light behind your shoulder (not at your throat). I think a lot of Polish drivers (and pedestrians) do this too... they don't see the huge metal object in front of them, they just see the big space behind you and don't realise they can't actually squeeze their car through the 5cm gap.
Myszolow 3 | 157
3 Feb 2010 #58
Are you szczur about that? ;)
Trevek 26 | 1,702
3 Feb 2010 #59
Oh very good! I like that! :-D
Vincent 9 | 941 Moderator
3 Feb 2010 #60
Here's one showing what happens then there is a tram junction at a roundabout:

Quite a sharp turn on the South West junction ;)


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