Observations of a Downtown Anthropologist

I am working downtown. An archaeologist working in downtown Calgary. Seems sort of out of place, don’t you think? On the other hand, an anthropologist can have a field-day in any city’s downtown: it’s people-watching at its finest.

Here are ten observations I’ve made being downtown over the past couple of weeks:

1) Don’t attempt to eat, shop, or do anything downtown at lunch.
2) If someone other a Middle Easterner prepares your Middle Eastern meal, it probably won’t be a Middle Eastern meal. Not really.
3) There are a lot of meetings that involve getting a coffee or a beer from across the street.
4) The aforementioned meetings are amazingly productive.
5) There are a lot of sirens – and one would think emergencies – downtown.
6) People walk like they drive – distractedly and aimlessly.
7) The men dress better than the women.
8) You have to have a coffee, cigarette, or phone in your hand to be in vogue. And everyone is, darling.
9) Green light follows red. Despite this, people still insist on seeing it to believe it…..then staring at it for a few seconds in case it isn’t real.
10) When crossing the street, everyone must line up shoulder to shoulder. Single file is for kindergarten kids. Red Rover is for adults.
This bonus observation was of a more personal nature:
11) To avoid stress-induced spontaneous human combustion, swear like a sailor and drink like a fish.

I am quite prepared to sound-off at idiots who text and walk during my morning pedestrian commute. And if I fill my coffee mug with wine, I might do just that. However, it might also prompt me to take action regarding all the well-dressed men. Not good at 8am.
What observations have you made downtown?
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