Learning to walk in Vienna

Learning to walk in Vienna

Navigating Vienna on foot is a contact sport. The Schottentor UBahn station is a good place to learn this. Unlike the U.S. where people generally form rows of opposing foot traffic (also in Britain, but on the left side, like the cars!), Vienna is a free-for-all. Slow, fast, and suddenly stopping, dashing diagonally here and there, and without any particular formation, the Viennese seek any hole they can find ahead of them in the crowd and make for it like a heat-seeking missile. Woe to anyone who is caught in the cross-traffic of commuters running from a train to catch a street car across your path. Walking in Vienna requires Jedi reflexes to learn the sudden stop, the sideways pivot (to avoid sideswiping or being sideswiped by someone’s large shopping bag or protruding elbow), and the purposeful stride whenever there is open land ahead. The Viennese are masters of this art form. Gehen Sie voran!

1-14 rush hour from above in Schottentor Ubahn

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About pcooperwhite

Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion, Union Theological Seminary, New York NY
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