Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Only Good Pedestrian is a Suicidal One

Do you remember the old road safety song? (Sing it with me, children of the 80s):

"Stop at the curb [chirpy echo: stop at the curb],
Look to the left [look to the left]
Look to the right [look to the right]
Look to the left again!
When the road is CLEAR of traffic,
Walk straight across the road,
Walk straight across the road"

What a load of bulls***. Clearly the songwriter had never been to Asia. If I were to wait at the curb until there was NO traffic, I'd be there all bloody day!

Instead I have decided that crossing the road here is like playing a game of virtual reality Frogger. If you are a child of the 80's you'll remember this game with no need for reminders. If however you need a refresher, it was the computer game where you had to move a little frog (Frogger) across several lanes of a freeway without ending up with frog pancake (and believe me, you'd never see a frog bleed so much... we used to suicide just to see the badly pixelated gore).

For those of you playing along at home have a game and think of me. In the meantime I'll amuse myself by writing a new community service announcement for the children in my vicinity:

"Stop at the curb [stop at the curb]
Wait for a gap, [wait for a gap]
Dash into the gap, [dash into the gap]
pause in front of oncoming traffic
Take four steps and stop,
Ignore the angry taxi,
now dodge past the bicycles on to the footpath beyond."

I know it doesn't quite fit the original, but nothing here in China ever really does.


'er said...

Never heard of 'Frogger' before this! Tried it today. Best score - 0! Does Frogger ever make it?? Hoping very much you avoid his fate!!!

Louise said...

Frogger does make it sometimes.. the key is to utilise the side-stepping keys a lot. Hoping I avoid his fate too, coz I come with a lot less lives than he does!

Eryn Watts said...

The trick (for real life china roads) is DON'T LOOK. Any eye contact with a driver is viewed as a challenge. From my experience if you run out onto the road and don't look they are more likely to stop cause they think you haven't seen them. You look - the responsibility is on you! This system has nearly got me killed numerous times since my return to Sydney from China!

Louise said...

I agree with you Eryn, avoid eye contact at all costs!