Sidewalks are fairly useful things. They lay out a path for which we can walk safely. Sometimes, we choose not to use the path laid out for us, but when we do, a strange thing happens. There is a universal and unspoken agreement that you stay on your side of the sidewalk, and I’ll stay on mine. And, whether you have noticed it or not, people tend to walk on the right side of the sidewalk. When someone breaks that agreement, confusion ensues.
For two weeks I walked on the left side of the sidewalk and tried to see how people reacted. Most of the time I had someone else with me to observe the passerby’s reaction, and the responses I got were interesting. Most of the people would be walking towards me, look confused, and then just move for me. Some people would walk past, then look back with a baffled look on their faces as if to say “how dare she do that”. Once my roommate even gave me a weird look and asked me why I was being so weird. And then there were the few people who I had to have a battle of the wills with (I only lost twice).
At the end of the two weeks, I concluded that people get terribly confused and sometimes even angry if you walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk. There is definitely a mindset of “my side, your side” with a line in the middle that you shouldn’t try to cross.