Friday, 2 December 2011

the green and red dilemma

I used to be a good German waiting at a traffic light until the little green man lit up and I was allowed to cross the road, no matter if it was rush-hour or the next car 10km away. Then I visited places like Paris and London...

Suddenly it felt extremely touristy and uncool to wait for the green man's turn. Everyone else kept crossing the road and left me behind feeling foolish. I changed and started crossing whenever I can follow a local. And if I don't trust the situation and wanna wait I have to admit that I feel embarrassed to press the button for green light. I press it, hope no driver gets angry at me and pretend to text or something like that so I don't have to wait too visibly...

Then I'm in Germany again and simply cross when I think it is safe. And get angry looks for being a bad role model...and feel like a true cosmopolitan rebel still fearing to get fined by bored policemen...

So I always feel out of place wherever I am until I get adjusted again. Impatient in Germany and silly in Paris and London (Rome by the way is a different case, my experience here is that the drivers head for you no matter what light is flashing)


  1. ha, same here. how often did I pretend to be on the phone because I didn't want to wait for the green light too obviously :) generally I prefer London and Paris. traffic lights are a tool, but not a must, you can rely on them if you want, or ignore them... whenever I'm in Germany I feel like an idiot for waiting for the lights to change. not a car in sight, but everyone is waiting. and it's not just angry looks you get for doing it your way, plenty of people actually told me that what I was doing was illeagl and threatened with the police. can you believe this???

  2. Haha, that's the real truth about Rome :D