Saturday, August 04, 2007

Little Green Men

Every country has "crossing the road" etiquette. Whether it be as a pedestrian or as a motorist.

Vietnam and Japan provide a countdown to let motorists and pedestrians alike know how much time is left before they can cross the road or intersection. In Japan the pedestrians dutifully wait for the counter to reach zero before crossing the road. In Vietnam motorists cross when they deem it safe enough, countdown be damned.
In Nepal and India there were lights for the pedestrian but they were largely ignored. Foot traffic crossing whenever they pleased, very reminiscent of the hugely popular eighties game "Frogger". Dodging traffic becoming a necessary skill in order to cross the road.

However, the best crossing the road indicator is to be found here in Mexico. You have your bog standard looking "Little Green Man" who is lit up when it is safe to cross the road. He is not just some chump tho', this Mexican version.
He starts out with a very nonchalant stroll, almost a strutt, much like John Travolta's from Saturday Night Fever. As the time for you to be across the road draws near, he slowly picks up speed. Almost as if he's looking over his shoulder to check where the traffic is for you. Then just before the traffic lights turn green, he breaks into an all out sprint to the finish line, as if the hounds of hell are chasing him. And you can just picture him, hands on knees gasping for breath and dreading the next inevitable round. Makes you feel sorry for the poor wee fulla!

It's worth crossing the road just for the entertainment. Yay Mexico and it's little green men!

No comments: