Since I was a kid I always walked with my head down…not sure why, i guess maybe i walk better when I actually witness my feet doing the left, right, left right thing. Anyhoo my lack of confidence careful foot observation (CFO) has actually proven to be a benefit in this city that has giant gaping holes in their sidewalks (or pavement they call it).
Because most of the houses and shops in London are built in a row with few ‘alleys’ between them allowing you to get round back, it is hard for delivery drivers to make deliveries to the back door as they do at home. As a result, many pubs and stores (mainly pubs) have trap doors out front on the sidewalk that open up and allow you to deliver goods (kegs) directly into the basement. This is all fine and well except for the fact that besides the big doors up in the air there really is a 6ft by 6ft gap in the sidewalk.
Since my office was previously a pub there is one of these trap doors immediately when you step out the door…one day I was running out the door to take a phone call as it was particularly loud in the office that day and I almost plunged to my death as the trap door was open and they were moving stuff out of the basement…luckily i ran out of the office with my head down, practicing CFO and noticed the black hole.
I have come across these open trap doors a few other times and every time there is just a big gaping hole with no pylons, caution tape or person in a reflective jumper telling me to watch out for the hole. At home, if there was a hole in the sidewalk about to eat you, there would be blinking lights, sirens, detour signs and a police escort hired to walk you around the hole ensuring no one falls in and sues the pub.
I think here they know that any bodily harm can be easily paid off by giving the injured patron a lifetime supply of beer…works for me. Unfortunately since i keep such good tabs on my feet while walking, I haven’t had such a traumatic event and don’t have any pubs intoxicating me to prevent me from suing them…there is always time though.