Durban Waterfront. (Photo/Peter Muiruri)

Being in a big city can be magical to a visitor. Not so, for the locals who might be rushing to get to work on time. Therefore, it is important to treat sidewalks like streets – do not stop abruptly in the middle to check your directions or snap a photo. Instead, pull over to the side where you will not be in the way.

Standing on the wrong side of an escalator: Interestingly, despite having different rules of the road, the escalator rules are the same from Johannesburg to Cairo and all global cities, and urban centres.

The rules require that one should stand on one side, and walk on the other. This allows people who are in a hurry to climb the escalator quickly, while those who need rest can ride up.

Don’t push your way onto public transportation: By doing this, you will be inconveniencing other travellers as they cannot get off the train or bus if you are pushing your way on before they have a chance to exit. Be polite and stand to the side of the door until everyone who needs to exit can get off before you get on.

It might be difficult to walk to your favourite spots or get to your destination during the rush hour. It will not also help either if you use public transport. It is advisable to use a cab or rideshare than walking to your destination or trying to navigate the subway system.


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And dress appropriately – looking more like the locals is ideal. If you are to walk, do not wear The best way to tour a city or an urban centre is by walking. This is because you will get to stroll through new neighbourhoods and discover gems that are not possibly listed in your guidebook.

Uncomfortable shoes might cut short your wanders due to foot pain. You can pack shoes that you can comfortably walk in for kilometres so that you can change from your stylish shoes that might hurt.

Feeding pigeons and other wildlife found in cities and urban centres is also frowned upon in many places. Most cities and urban centres will have birds (pigeons and marabou stock) or monkeys and baboons.