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Old 26.04.2010, 14:16
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A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

Hi all,
Something weird happened to me today. I'd like to know if I have broken some unannounced rule or something.

I am walking to work, and I am on a trail. I was walking all the way to the left. There are lots of people on bikes passing me, then someone on a bike was directly behind me started ringing me to move away. I didn't understand since the whole trail was available. I looked back, and there was a guy on a bike that for some reason insists on passing through the exact spot I am on. So, I just moved further to the left, leaving the trail and just walking on the grass.
Then the following happened. The guy didn't just go forward... Instead, he went all the way to the left, going even further into the grass than me, passing me from the left, then going all the way back to the right back into the trail. I stood there speechless for a moment. I certainly have no clue what was going on.

Since the guy was dressed in typical jewish clothes, I am wondering if this is something that has to do with religion? Do you have to walk by people from the left for some reason? Or is this some weird Swiss thing? Any explanations are sincerely appreciated.
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:26
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

If you didnt mention the part about religion i would just say that the guy was an idiot. But now i will say that the guy is an idiot and you are prejudiced against Jewish people
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:29
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

How is he prejudiced for commenting on what is by most peoples guess a weird little incident? It's not as though he's slandering Judaism.
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:30
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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Hi all,
Something weird happened to me today. I'd like to know if I have broken some unannounced rule or something.

I am walking to work, and I am on a trail. I was walking all the way to the left. There are lots of people on bikes passing me, then someone on a bike was directly behind me started ringing me to move away. I didn't understand since the whole trail was available. I looked back, and there was a guy on a bike that for some reason insists on passing through the exact spot I am on. So, I just moved further to the left, leaving the trail and just walking on the grass.
Then the following happened. The guy didn't just go forward... Instead, he went all the way to the left, going even further into the grass than me, passing me from the left, then going all the way back to the right back into the trail. I stood there speechless for a moment. I certainly have no clue what was going on.

Since the guy was dressed in typical jewish clothes, I am wondering if this is something that has to do with religion? Do you have to walk by people from the left for some reason? Or is this some weird Swiss thing? Any explanations are sincerely appreciated.
I am confused.

Is this about Judaism; I can't see any religion mentioned or is it that he wanted more?

Is this about right of cylists?

Is this about politics with this guy going more to the left?
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:33
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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If you didnt mention the part about religion i would just say that the guy was an idiot. But now i will say that the guy is an idiot and you are prejudiced against Jewish people
I think that is a little harsh Gata. I think it would have been something I would have asked, myself, had I been in that situation.

I once lived for a while in a small fishing village and went in the early morning to walk my dog along the beach and was ranted at by some men with a boat. Apparently, the superstitious fishermen thought it was bad luck to go to sea if the last thing they saw was a lone woman. I had breached some local habit but at the time put it down to "idiot in a boat"... When I asked my housemate later, and was explained the reason, I was able to understand better but it didn't make me in the slightest prejudiced against East Yorkshire Fisher folk!

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Old 26.04.2010, 14:33
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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Hi all,
Something weird happened to me today.
.....
Do you have to walk by people from the left for some reason? Or is this some weird Swiss thing? Any explanations are sincerely appreciated.
It may have been a somewhat inexperienced cyclist who - believing that the same rules apply as on the road - thought that he could only overtake you on the left That's the only explanation I can come up with....
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:38
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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If you didnt mention the part about religion i would just say that the guy was an idiot. But now i will say that the guy is an idiot and you are prejudiced against Jewish people
I'd groan you for that remark, but I'll leave that up to the OP.
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:39
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

that was me on the bike. i just wanted to freak you out!
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:40
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

I don't know if you are prejudiced or not, although that is, sadly, common in Switzerland. But from my knowledge there is only a problem for a Jew, if he's religious, to touch or shake the hand of a woman. The reason being quite clear, as Judaism is full of self control guidelines, and shaking hands or touching is a sign of warming closeness. As per your case, it may be as you perceived it, or maybe something else, but no need to be offended. I live in the area and know the efforts the community does in preventing uncomfortable scenes or situations.
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:41
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

I don't understand what the groan is for gata, it is well documented that some religions, sects, local societies does have sort of believe & attitude towards certain things / acts that might be normal for other people.

The op asked a valid question with no offense against religion, politics or society, (s)he is trying to understand....that's it.
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:45
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

Ok i did remove my groan but i still find the question a bit tactless
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:46
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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Ok i did remove my groan but i still find the question a bit tactless
Well it's a good job not everyones as PC-sensitive as you.
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Old 26.04.2010, 14:47
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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It may have been a somewhat inexperienced cyclist who - believing that the same rules apply as on the road - thought that he could only overtake you on the left That's the only explanation I can come up with....
Maybe - but if we're walking along shared-use paths - we tend to walk on the right and move further over to the right when a cyclist is passing from behind.
They will then pass on the left.

When there are a lot of cyclists, this makes it much more relaxing for us - and for them.
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Old 26.04.2010, 15:31
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

The rules of the road here are also transposed onto footpaths, bridle paths, cycle paths etc. They are designed to minimise injuries. Everyone is expected to keep to the right side. The guy exagerated his position and was an idiot, but you must keep to the right hand side.

Aside form this, I am surprised how many of you are ignorant about driving rules here. The advice on tackling a roundabout was never answered correctly. Don't any of you bother to learn the Swiss rules?

Yeah go on and give me a groan! But look at yourselves and think about saving yourself some fines and a possible accident!
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Old 26.04.2010, 15:32
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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If you didnt mention the part about religion i would just say that the guy was an idiot. But now i will say that the guy is an idiot and you are prejudiced against Jewish people
This could make for a great debate on the present climate with regards to "poltical correctness". I see no prejudice in his remark, but in this day an age of absurd political correctness it is far too easy to be branded as a racist. I hate to say that this is especially the case when it comes to Jews.

Unfortunately Norman Finkelstein isn't a member of this community. I'm quite certain that he'd have plenty to say.
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Old 26.04.2010, 15:37
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

I assume the left was the outside i.e. next to the road and therefore he was trying to pass you on the outside. I don't think this is religion just a very rigid enforcement of a highway code - he must have been swiss.
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Old 26.04.2010, 15:39
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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The rules of the road here are also transposed onto footpaths, bridle paths, cycle paths etc. They are designed to minimise injuries. Everyone is expected to keep to the right side. The guy exagerated his position and was an idiot, but you must keep to the right hand side.

Aside form this, I am surprised how many of you are ignorant about driving rules here. The advice on tackling a roundabout was never answered correctly. Don't any of you bother to learn the Swiss rules?

Yeah go on and give me a groan! But look at yourselves and think about saving yourself some fines and a possible accident!

My hubby is Swiss and doesn't know the rules of the road here either... the "of you" bit is a bit tired.

In my experience, it tends to be that people learn what they need to know in order to pass tests, whether they are for educational reasons or practical (such as daily driving), the same seems to hold true across the board - no matter what country someone is from. Learn stuff, pass test, forget stuff... isn't that how it goes?


So far as rules of the road thing applying to walking, well, SOME folks are from areas where driving is done on the left AND they may not drive here and so, it is "natural" to them to hang left as that's what they've always done.

No one tells you you need to learn driving rules in order to walk a foot path... thanks for informing us ignorant foreigners if that is the case!


So far as the original question goes
:
I happen to agree that it is a "shared space" type of etiquette similar to driving. General movement (driving and walking) is done on the right here so it tends to be more comfortable for others if you behave as anticipated by moving aligned toward the right and allowing others to pass to the left.
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Old 26.04.2010, 15:49
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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This could make for a great debate on the present climate with regards to "poltical correctness". I see no prejudice in his remark, but in this day an age of absurd political correctness it is far too easy to be branded as a racist. I hate to say that this is especially the case when it comes to Jews.

Unfortunately Norman Finkelstein isn't a member of this community. I'm quite certain that he'd have plenty to say.

You think that Jewish people especially brand others as racists?
I haven't found that from my personal experience.

btw - I'm not Jewish but Catholic

OP, do you come from a country where you walk or drive on the left and pass on the right? That could explain why he wasn't aware of the pass on the left?
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Old 26.04.2010, 15:52
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

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You think that Jewish people especially brand others as racists?
I haven't found that from my personal experience.

btw - I'm not Jewish but Catholic

OP, do you come from a country where you walk or drive on the left and pass on the right? That could explain why he wasn't aware of the pass on the left?
I think he's saying it's too easy to be branded a racst when talking about jews, not that jews find it too easy to brand others racist.
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Old 26.04.2010, 15:52
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Re: A question about Judaism (or maybe just about etiquette?)

Googler are you a street sweeper by any chance?

I ask because I knew a superstitious person who would insist on crossing a sweeper from a fixed side only (don't remember if it was left or right side) It had something to do with crossing from one side bringing good luck and crossing from other side bringing bad luck.
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