Someone jumps the queue at a crowded Eurostar terminal at Gare du Midi.
A driver does not indicate and almost knocks me off my bike when he turns unexpectedly.
Someone parks a car on a zebra crossing meaning it’s impossible for pedestrians to cross.
A passenger barges into a carriage on the London Underground without letting the passengers off first.
Cyclists that do not respect red lights and mow down pedestrians.
But what do you actually do about these sorts of things? I know for sure I am not the only one who gets annoyed, and in the Eurostar queue jumping case I could see other passengers bristling with annoyance. So I have now simply taken to talking to the people breaking the rules. If those individuals do not know what the social norm is, or they do not read the body language of the others around, then they need to be told what should happen. So a short “on respecte la file ici” to the Eurostar man sent him to the back of the queue. A short “est-ce que vous savez pourquoi les voitures ont des clignotants?” through the open window of a car that’s not respecting the rules might have a small impact. A carefully placed shoulder or bag tends to do the trick when leaving an underground carriage. Some day someone will probably turn around and hit me when I do all of this but it at least has not happened yet.
I still do not get why people behave like this though. The ball is almost always in the other court. The queue jumper is someone who is also sometimes at the front of queues. The driver who doesn’t use indicators is also surely confused by other drivers. Cyclists are sometimes pedestrians. And the underground passenger who barges on also needs to be able to get off. Surely it doesn’t take a genius to realise that to do unto others as you would want done to yourself is not a bad rule for social interaction in cities?