Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Pedestrian-Driver Relationship

If you know me, you know I'm cautious... like, when I started driving, I would wait FOREVER at a stop sign because I thought that cars that were 2 blocks away were too close. When crossing the street, I usually wait until there isn't even a car in sight before I walk.
And then, there's France.
The pedestrian-driver relationship is very different here. If you are walking and you happen upon a crosswalk, all you do is stick your foot out, ensure that any cars coming see you, and start walking. The cars just magically stop. Today, some guy slammed on his brakes just to let people cross. Now, if this were Canada, we'd have more than just horns blaring... we'd have some serious hit-and-run accidents going down. You don't just walk, you wait. The pedestrian only has the right of way sometimes. Here, it seems like it is a pedestrian's paradise. If you know what to do!
Well, I do one of two things. I either bolt across the street at the first sign of a break in traffic, or I wait... and hold up traffic because obviously the cars are going to stop. And they just get confused when I hesitantly sway back and forth on the side of the road, unsure of what to do. Add on to the awkward stares from the drivers the awkward stares from the other pedestrians and I stick out like a pig in a sheep pen. It's like I have a sign pointing at me saying "INTERNATIONAL."
Oh well, I guess I'll get used to it by April. The hard part will be transitioning back into a society where the pedestrian no longer has the right of way!

No comments:

Post a Comment