Thursday, December 07, 2006

Slaves to the little red man.

In Montana, we call it jaywalking, in Missouri they call it 'walking against the light', here they practically call it a capital offense. Pedestrian crosswalks in Korea are controlled by little red men that are on a timed delay in sync with the traffic light.
I have been told that Koreans will break all manner of laws from speeding to adultery but one law that is obeyed religiously by all is the law of the pedestrian crosswalk. This is probably a good thing because most Koreans are very unaware of their immediately surrounding area. If you pay attention to the sequencing of the lights you can determine when the pedestrian light will turn green.
As Americans, we start walking when the traffic stops knowing the light will soon signal us. The Koreans at the street corner often start walking across with us but then look up at the red man and freeze in their tracks. Noooo, they call and they point to the red man. They are insistant about waiting that extra 5 seconds for the man to turn green.

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