Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't Walk

Order and obedience are two traits we ordinarily associate with the German people.  Although these qualities--much like our own frontier capitalism--can turn ugly when they're not restrained, they are charming as they manifest in every day life.  Typical scenario here in Stuttgart you can see at every street corner with a traffic light---no one (!) crosses the street when the 'don't walk' signal is illuminated.  Between our hotel and the art gallery is a large intersection with more than a dozen lights guiding about six separate roadways coming in and out of the intersection----so there are at least six walk/don't walk pedestrian signals THAT MUST BE OBEYED !  Takes about 3-4 minutes to make the diagonal crossing from one side to the other.  The signals flash regardless of traffic flow.....

As a New Yorker, I learned early that all signals of every kind are to be ignored by pedestrians, so on Day 1 here in Stuttgart, I scurried across the road whenever I looked both ways and there was no traffic (thanks, mom!).  Of course, I left my fellow pedestrians in the dust as I looked back and discovered every one else waiting patiently until the signal changed.  

By end of Day 1, I fell into line.

I really am obedient, in my soul.

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