Things I Hate About the City


 

My recent move to the city has made me a happier person. I love the hustle and bustle that the city offers. I love the busy vibe, the chaos, and the constant movement. I love the fact that there is always something to do, somewhere to go, or something to see. I love that there is never silence, and that you are never alone. With all that there is to love about the city, there is still plenty to complain about as well. There are a few things that I don’t love about the city….

  • People who don’t move out of your way on the sidewalk The first thing I noticed about the city that I dislike is the fact that as you are walking down the sidewalk people make no attempt to move out of your way. You can be an 80 year-old grandmother, wheelchair bound, or mother with a stroller and it doesn’t matter, they will not move to allow you to pass. People will walk directly in the middle of the sidewalk and crash into you instead of stepping to the side and allowing you to pass. This is especially true when you are walking in the same direction as the ignorant person. Common courtesy consists of stepping aside to let someone pass if they appear to be going at a faster pace than you are, it’s simple and it doesn’t slow you down. Standing aside for a moment is not going to cause you to be late for work or miss an appointment, and it could actually help the other person arrive at their destination on time … Even more disturbing is the fact that parents are teaching their children these poor manners. Each day after picking my son up from school I am bumped, barged, and plowed over by children as they flee the field and head for home… Now kids are going to be kids, but my son knows that you move aside for someone as they approach you on a sidewalk, it’s just polite.
  • Everyone always being in a hurry to get somewhere – Another thing I have noticed about the city is; that although I love the constant hustle and bustle, chaos, and action, people always seem to be in a rush to get somewhere. People watch in a city for an afternoon and you will notice that people are always rushing somewhere. No one ever seems to be wandering at a slow and relaxed pace taking in the world around them and enjoying the sights as they pass by. People are rushing about, without much attention to anyone or anything that they pass. There are times when I am in a hurry, yes of course, but here in Toronto it almost seems constant, as if there are never enough hours in the day. I think that it bothers me for a few reasons; First off the BF is one of those people who is always in a hurry to get everything done, or get where he is going. He rarely takes the time to browse a shop, watch a sunset, or smell the flowers. (so to speak) Where I prefer to stop and look in shop windows, touch items of clothing on a rack, talk to strangers, and take in the world around me one piece at a time. I fear that with all the rushing around people will miss the beauties that life has to offer, all the simple things that we take for granted each and every day. I just don’t see the point in rushing through life, why hurry to get somewhere all the time? Life is too short; if you run through life you will realize that you missed important moments. (maybe simple moments, but sometimes it is the simplest moments that change our lives)
  • The stupidity of city drivers – This is a steady source of stress in our household. It seems that no matter where you go, how you go, or what time you attempt to get there, here in the city there is always traffic problems. What really amazes me is how it is possible for traffic on a highway or major roadway to come to a complete stand-still!!! Accidents, construction, and minor hiccups are not an excuse to rubberneck or stop dead and hold up a whole line of cars behind you. Drivers in this city are insane…. (Sorry, maybe not all of you… but a large number) Where people refuse to move aside on the sidewalk, drivers on the road are often overly polite. Just the other day we were driving along and we were instantly stuck in a traffic jam that ran about 16 blocks… the cause (as far as I could see) was people stopping to allow other cars to turn in front of them. Now although it is courteous to allow a driver to turn off a busy street on to a side road, it is not courteous to allow 24 cars to turn left, thus holding up another 24 cars behind you!!! Another major issue is the fact that this city allows people to park on both sides of a narrow road, this causes confusion, chaos, and issues all around. With cars parked on both sides of a narrow two lane road, only one car can navigate through at a time, this causes issues because a lot of the time drivers cannot seem to figure out whose turn it is to drive, it’s not exactly rocket science but apparently it is difficult to grasp for some drivers. This also goes for streetlights that are not working properly… why can people not figure out what they are supposed to do in this situation?? Is it not on the driver’s test??? I am sure that it is a pretty standard piece of information…. Needless to say driving in Toronto is an adventure in itself, and basically unless you have unlimited time to arrive at your destination, you should probably take the bus!
  • The lack of compassion – People in the city are cold… period. I wrote before about a local morning show that went outside with a video camera and attempted to find a person on their way to work with a smile on their face… look around the city as you travel, a happy smiling face is a rare find here. People are just unfriendly! People here do not say hello as they pass, there is no smile or nod, no chit chat, or small talk for the most part. There is no warmth, comfort, or compassion for one another. Walking around here in the city makes you realize how small you really are in this giant world. You are anonymous… it’s almost creepy sometimes.

With all there is to complain about when it comes to life in the city, there is plenty that I love thus far. Despite the ignorance and the confusion, walking around and exploring the city gives me a sense of exhilaration and independence that I can’t find anywhere else… I love the big buildings, and the bustle of traffic, I love the chaos of people as they dash across a busy street. I love the sense of adventure and the mystery… This is my home and it makes me happy, even with all the calamity and quirks it provides!!!

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4 thoughts on “Things I Hate About the City

  1. I would like to agree with everything you say, but I really need to add something here…..
    I emphasize that ‘the city’ should be specific to TORONTO! I have been to many cities, including LA and I have never had such cold, aggressive, self absorbed, reactions of people as I have experienced in Toronto.
    I Love Toronto, my city…. But i have to clear that up!

  2. I agree, your right it is more specific to Toronto itself. I too have been to many other cities and there is just something about this one that apparently makes people rude!!! I just find that there is no warmth or caring for one another, people are so concerened about their lives that they fail to notice anyone else around them. It makes me sad honestly, part of living is enjoying life, meeting people, and being happy. People should not be in such a hurry to get nowhere that they allow the comfort and compassion of others to pass them by…. a moment of kindness can make a world of difference in anothers life. I am always saying that even the simplest act of a kind smile to a stranger can change their entire outlook on life…. but here in this city, even a simple smile is a rare sight!!!

  3. I agree, I am due to have my baby in 2 weeks, and I can honestly say I have had a total of 4 people in this whole pregnancy offer me a seat on TTC. And i take TTC every single day! I have even gotten out of my seat to offer an elderly my seat (while I was pregnant) because no one else would!
    I think its important to be the person who gives the act of kindness, I say THANK YOU and HELLO to all TTC drivers, even the pricks, because you never know the last time someone smiled at them during their shift!

    • So true and you never know how far your simple act may reach. Just smiling at one person, or saying “hello” or “Good morning” can make the world of difference for someone… imagine you come across a young man (or woman) who is fed up with life, imagine they feel alone, lost and depressed… imagine that this person has decided that tonight they are going to end their life because they feel like no one cares, no one notices them, or no one likes them. You come across this person in line at the coffee shop, grocery store, or on the bus and you offer up a simple smile, polite hello, or quick little chat… You may provide that person with the glimpse of hope they needed to decide that life is worth living… Dramatic??? maybe! But who is to say how deep a smile or kind word can reach, after all they say it’s the little things that count!

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