The Polite Pass: An Anatomy Of A Word

This essay was originally published in Elephant Journal in 2015 Pase or Pasele are words I hear many times during my day here in Mexico. In Spanish, it literally means “pass” or “pass yourself, but translates to Go on or You first. Please. I insist. It is often accompanied by an open handed gesture and a smile. Sometimes, there is even a “kindness stand-off” with two people gently insisting they be the one to step aside. One of the reasons for this gesture in the small town where I live is practical. The sidewalks are very narrow, and there are no stop signs or traffic lights. This requires that the slow walkers give a bit of a berth to the slightly faster ones, and cars arriving at the int

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© 2020 by Linda Laino Words + Pictures.