Local Heart, Global Soul

July 20, 2018

Acknowledging The Friendly Wave…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One thing that I miss when I leave New Zealand is their level of friendliness.

It’s customary to give a quick wave of acknowledgement when passing other vehicles on country roads, to road workers as you go pass them in speed restricted areas, to waiting vehicles when you have had priority on one lane bridges, to someone in the city who lets you into a busy stream of traffic from a smaller side street, the list goes on.

It was therefore interesting to see that all of the Kaikoura workers on the newly reopened road were also acknowledging the drivers as they went by.

In some places it was hard to photograph, others like here easier, but all gave us a wave and a grin.

We remarked that this was only the first three weeks the road had been open, and wondered about the heavy summer holiday traffic and if they would be adhering to this unwritten “code of acknowledgement” in three months’ time, or longer.

What’s lovely about the situation in these photographs is that the road worker not only gave each of us on his side of the road a friendly wave once his “Stop” sign changed to “Go”, but in the meantime also gave a friendly wave to each vehicle passing in the opposite direction. (it’s a bit hard to see in the photographs because he is waving with his left hand, but this is a proper wave, not just raising his hand in a stiff manner.) We saw by the smile he gave us when we passed by that this is a genuine friendliness too, there are subtle ways of telling when people are just “going through the motions” and when they are not.

If we crawl past a road worker with a sign in the Netherlands, and I lift a hand in acknowledgement, both my kids will let out an exasperated “Mammm, No one does that here!”, or “ ew… stop that, it’s embarrassing!” and more often than not the road worker will give me a puzzled stare. Old habits are hard to break though, and if anything I think that anything that gives a touch of friendliness to strangers sharing our roads, city life and public spaces should be encouraged rather than rejected as a waste of time. Make someone smile, start a trend, whenever the moment is right, why not just acknowledge someone with a friendly wave?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: