Defined as the rules and customs of a group or a standard procedure (SOP) adopted by all. Street etiquette used by all to avoid “misunderstandings” when strangers meet or trade.

So have you thought that one out come a world of hurt?
Lets try a couple of simple ones.

  1. You in your “house” and someone approaches.
    What do you do to greet them?
  2. Someone is selling (bartering) fuel for food.
    What’s the accepted way to approach them and trade?
  3. You are out scavenging and come across a stranger who wants to talk or maybe trade, what do you do?

You might be thinking these are three different scenarios needing three different protocols for handling things BUT there are common features in all three which anyone who has lived on the streets or those who have been to “foreign places, met exotic cultures, and escaped with their skin intact”, will know.

Someone approaches.

  • Are meetings allowed during the hours of darkness?
    How do you visually or audibly communicate your acceptance or rejection of such a meeting?
  • Two people meet that are armed?
    Do you both ground arms at the same time?
    Or is it accepted that you approach strangers with open hands and weapons slung or sheathed?
  • What are the accepted rules of personal space, eye contact, and above all respect?
  • How do you speak?
    To shout could be easy to hear, or taken as a threat.
    Do you start with a question “Are you well?” or “What do you want?” or “Hello Stranger!”
    Or with a smile and a handshake?

tradeSomeone wants to trade

  • Are weapons allowed?
  • Who is allowed to talk?
    In some tribes and cultures a woman isn’t allowed to talk to men outside their family.
  • What is the generally accepted unit of “currency”?
    Gold, oil, warm bodies for a few hours? Are you ready for that?
  • Is it custom to trade for what you need or for what you can get?

How do you leave?

  • On a handshake or back away?
  • Is it considered “rude” to leave before eating and “socializing”?
  • When can you pick up arms?

There again you might be thinking
“This is getting too complicated, I’d simply shoot everyone”.

If that’s your grand plan I suggest you make your peace with your maker now as soon enough you’ll come across someone who’s SOP and field craft is better than yours, just little faster than you, slightly more accurate, and carrying more fire power than you are.

Having been in a few theaters of conflict, it’s really important to follow the correct procedures and local customs when dealing with others. As stated, it prevents “misunderstandings” and more importantly GUN PLAY.

The military out there will have their original SOP for handling situations.
It might work, it might not.
Arrogance, aggression, show of force and weapons, and imposing control, may be the way of some military but it wins no trust, grants no favors, makes people less co-operative, and gets nothing in return except mistrust, poor Intel, and in some cases instant retaliation.

There is no master plan here for me to write, no universal way of doing things but rest assured, there will be protocols that become rapidly adopted by all which may seem weird to strangers, over the top, or just plain stupid, BUT BEHIND THEM there MAY be a planned action if you fail to follow them.

And on that note I’ll go now,
“Have a safe day”.
I step 10 paces backwards, pick up the rifle, turn and WALK away.

(Quietly confident that SWMBO still has them in her crosshairs).

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