Sunday, February 10, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Old people are slow, regardless of region

In an earlier post entitled "A few observations since I left America," I made the comment that old people in Sydney are marginally quicker (as in speed of walking) than old people in America. Well, shoot that theory in the foot because I was dead wrong.

I did a bit of research yesterday. I noticed that my earlier hypothesis of old people being a bit more sprite here might have been premature as I had begun to notice A LOT of old people moving VERY slowly. How could this be? I had just seen the oldest man alive pedaling a bike uphill at a relatively fast speed only weeks ago! I had several ideas, so I did a mini survey while I walked across the bridge at Darling Harbor on my way home.

Some of you might find it weird to go up and ask people for directions even when you know exactly where you're going, but I had a plan. Maybe these slow geriatrics are tourists. Maybe AUSTRALIAN old people are still quick and lively. Well, after polling about 15 different couples, I learned that my initial forecast was wrong: Old people are slow the world over. The Italians in particular are a slow group, but I'm thinking that's because they prefer to stroll. It's the Bulgarians we need to watch out for: Those people can't walk fast even when they TRY. My god, can you imagine getting behind a Bulgarian grandmother in traffic? For Christ sake...you'd be there for days!

And for those of you that are thinking that I'm mean for judging old people, you're probably also right when you secretly hope I'll be a slow old person. I'll tell you right now that the minute I turn 70, shuffling will be my only means of transport. In a hurry? Tough shit. Just try to get around me and my walker.