Friday, July 28, 2006

Spiegel's Survival

Here's a great article from the German paper Spiegel (via Gridskipper) which details a kind of "survival guide" for travellers in Germany. Although they forget to add the sprinter-speed required to bag your own groceries in the store before the clerk and customer behind you literally run you over, they do get one thing right: the shear lunacy of adherance to pedestrian light walks.

I can remember the first time I crossed a road before the crosswalk light turned green (no cars in sight), I had people from both sides pointing to the light shouting things in German no doubt thinking in their head "crazy foreigner"! I soon learned how strongly Germans felt about crossing the road before the walk light turned green. The climax (Oooh, nice utilization there!) came (again, utilization!) when at 2:30am in the morning on my way back from... well where ever, I saw people waiting at the corner of an intersection that was completely deserted for a 5-mile radius just for the little red crosswalk sign to turn green. At first I thought I was just hammered and imagining it... but I wasn't.

Those crazy Germans! And before you make the same shocking presumption about the photo they used for the article (below), let e just tell you that the girls are actually holding a tape measure around that guys waist... so forget whatever your dirty little minds were thinking ;-)


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