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Weather, Life

Raincouver 101: 11 tips on using an umbrella in Vancouver

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Jack Hauen Sep 23, 2016 3:24 am

We live in a rainy city. A lot of people have umbrellas. As such, it’s important to know how to use them.

After all, are a lot of unspoken rules that make up modern umbrella etiquette. But given how many people don’t seem to be following them maybe it’s about time we wrote them down.

Knowing what they are could be the difference between enriching the lives of those around you and totally ruining someone’s day. This guide will act as a list of do’s and don’t’s to make sure you’re the perfect picture of umbrella-wielding etiquette.

Umbrella / Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Choose size-appropriately

Do you really need a giant golf umbrella to walk to work? No! You’re in Vancouver not Augusta.

Don’t be a drip

When you sit down next to someone on the bus, make sure your umbrella is tucked away in a manner that won’t soak your neighbour’s jeans.

Sharing is caring

If you’re walking with someone who doesn’t have an umbrella, and you do, it’s your responsibility to squeeze both of you under it. It’s just common decency.

Image: Rainfall / Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Be a good umbrella guest

To elaborate on the previous point — if someone’s holding an umbrella over your head, be mindful of how much space you’re taking up. No one likes a ‘brella hog.

Open carefully

No need to poke bystanders’ eyes out because you didn’t look both ways before busting it open. Especially important for shorter users whose umbrellas open at the exact eye-gouging angle of taller pedestrians.

No sword fights

Ok, maybe some sword fights. But only with willing combatants.

Umbrella / SHutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Don’t use it under cover

If you’re under an awning on a busy sidewalk, your umbrella is closed. This isn’t your dick, you don’t need to double-bag it.

Don’t clothesline people

When passing someone shorter than you, always raise your umbrella so they can pass. No one wants a face full of secondhand water.

Put it in a holder

Chances are if you’re inside, you don’t need to be carrying around a dripping wet pile of fabric, slicking the floors and generally ruining peoples’ days. That’s what those little bins are for.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Close it when you’re indoors

Know why it’s bad luck to open an umbrella inside? Because everyone will hate you.

Don’t forget it

Servers are stressed enough — the last thing they need is some schmuck calling and asking them to hunt around for a forgotten umbrella. Easy solution: take it with you when you leave.


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Jack Hauen
Jack is a fourth-year UBC student, coordinating editor of The Ubyssey, and two golden retrievers in a human suit.

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