I'll say now I haven't read the whole thread, sorry but there is a lot in there so what I'm going to write may well be a repeat but here goes.
I am very much a grey man I feel, always have been probably always will be. And you know what? I do like it
Being able to move at will anywhere unnoticed, being the fish in the ocean is kinda fun.
Anyway, in reality I should not be a grey man. Why? I'm a 6ft+ white* British male living in an Asian country of generally very short Asian people. How I achieve this is down to a number of factors I feel:
- I dress smartish, always with a shirt, trousers and always with no logos and labels, not only is it cheaper but it's less conspicuous. I don't know why but a shirt seems to get you places as well as being inconspicuous, maybe it's the 'clean cut' look that you just don't get with anything else. I also again go for neutral colors, nothing bright.
- Shoes are again unbranded and neutral, lace ups are nice but I like slip ons for easy on and of action. Comfort is the main thing for me in a shoe since I footslog everywhere but I avoid trainers. Avoid the sort of 'echoy' shoes, the ones that make you should like you're in court as you walk down the corridor, get a softer sole so you go unnoticed as you walk on hard floors. Oh, and my last set of shoes lasted me years and were only replaced when I visited my parents and they insisted on buying me some new ones.
- My junk goes in a backpack, leaves both my arms free and doesn't look as inviting or 'snatcable' as another sort of bag, anyone trying to grab it will not be able to get away. Nor is it a 'laptop bag' type backpack so it looks inviting and again, no logos, especially not a computer (DELL, IBM etc) logo which will make your thief think there is a laptop inside. Think inconspicuous when going for bags and your average thief won't be attracted to it. Also, chose neutral colors so you don't look like a tourist, mine is dark blue and black. For the same reason, bumbags are out, nothing stinks of tourist more than a bumbag around your waist...
- My walk is 'purposeful' and of a moderate speed. I was in the Cadet Corp at school and I believe all the drill got to me but seriously, find yourself a friendly drill instructor (and when you do tell me, I've never met a friendly one!) and get some marching practice.
- But don't march... purposeful is the key here, look like your going somewhere. Speed is also vital, I tend to walk slightly faster than everyone else (purposeful again) but not so fast that I am zipping up the street and look in a hurry which would attract attention.
- I set my face to 'blank' (actually, that is it's default setting) and kinda 'hard'. Slightly turned down lips, eyes forward but not glaring. I notice that people don't keep eye contact but that could be becuase I'm and ugly bastard
- I don't shove, I slip past. A firm 'excuse me' and if they don't get the message polite hand on the back/shoulder normally shifts anyone foolish enough to get in the way of my purposeful walk. Thankfully slipping past is easy enough most of the time, just map your path carefully. Don't weave in and out of people to much tough.
- If you do have to stop, stop towards the edge of whatever area you are in and blend. This can be quite hard to master and probably needs a bit of practice, but it's all down to looking like you are meant to be there. Shop windows are great, pretend to browse, as are posters and whatnot. Your mobile phone is also a good freind here, whip it out and stick it to your ear; not only do you look the part but no one with bother someone 'on the phone'.
- That is another thing, don't flash your gash. My phone is cheap and serviceable, no one would nick it since it's worth buttons. Same goes for not flashing any jewelery and so on. Wedding ring is OK, anything else and if you're a guy your a poncy 'gansta' who deserves what they get and a woman.... ahem let's leave that one...
- Avoid looking like a tourist, I said something about it above but it's important, especially in a city like mine that is full of them. Tourists are easy to spot; bright clothes, shorter and more reveling than normal attire (modest dress is the thing here), garish backpack, camera and *shudder* sandals. Not a good look at the best of times and more importantly, one that get's noticed. They also stop and gawk a lot, not something you should be doing if you want to fit in.
With all of this, I, the white 6ft+ male, walks past the short shop vendors in touristy parts of my city without much of a glance while around me, others are hounded. I can slip in to almost anywhere, from accidentally barging past security and into the UNICEF Asia headquarters (got lost), past getting through the rough areas of town without trouble, via fitting in at an all-Malay iftar party for the local Sultan to managing to fit in to any Temple, Church or Mosque in the city with no hassle. It takes some practice but it's easy to master
I think that is your lot, I can probably think of more but I should probably not spin this out to much. Would ZS find it useful and legal for me to write something about movement on foot? Stuff about avoiding tails and danger etc, not sure if it has been done but I can bash something out.
*Apparently I am white. This has not stopped people from believing I am anything from a American, Russian, French, Egyptian Chinese (seriously), Argentinian etc etc person, I used to keep a list but it started getting stupid...