AKA: Crossing the Street
One of the craziest scariest things when you first visit China is the experience of trying to cross the street. It’s not really something you can explain. There are cars, and bicycles, and people. Sometimes, donkeys. Going in every direction. All at the same time.
Just… crazy. Really crazy.
And kind of an adrenaline rush.
We always “joke” that it’s like playing frogger. You know, the old school arcade game where you have to get a little frog across the street without getting him squished by cars and buses and stuff.
[image from frogger.net]
Yeah, it’s like that. But in real life. Dodging REAL cars. (and bikes, and mopeds, and people.)
Since our look-see visit I’ve been trying to get a decent video so I can share what it’s like, but the truth is, none of them can really do it justice. You just can’t really understand until you’ve experienced it for yourself, in 3D living color.
I did manage to get these videos the other day. It’s not quite as crazy as some intersections because it’s doesn’t have roads in both directions, just a “T”. Anyway, I hope you can get a little taste of what it’s like to cross the street in China.
In the first one, I’m just watching from the side. The thing to keep in mind is that from around 13 seconds on (the point when everyone starts walking) the green pedestrian light is on. It actually tells you it’s “safe” to walk then. The problem is… so is the turning light for cars.
But I guess that’s what makes it fun, right? Or at least interesting.
Now it’s my turn to play.
I apologize for the shaky videoing but in this game, the stakes are very high. I’m sure you understand I was a little preoccupied. You have to remember to pay attention for the whole distance as you can see at around the 30 second mark, just when I’m alllllmost across.
Really, you can never let your guard down while traveling here. Even on the sidewalks, you have to dodge the bicycles, tricycles, and mopeds. Texting and walking is almost as dangerous as texting and driving in China.
What do you think? Do you want to take a turn at Chinese Frogger? It’s really… er… fun.?