Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Have you ever been almost killed by a Hungarian car?
I have.

Definitely wasn't the highlight of my vacation. At least I wasn't actually hit, broken bones were not my idea of a good souvenir. That's why I've decided that I'm going to to share some information about international crosswalks so you can make it home with all your appendages intact. You're welcome :).

I'm a college student so I jaywalk constantly. If a car is coming I know it's going to stop for me because I'm just that awesome. This is also true if that "car" happens to be a tractor. I'm from Nebraska, that's more common than you'd think. And really, there's no reason to be scared of tractors, they don't even go that quickly. Besides, Nebraskans always stop for pedestrians because they only want to rundown you down if you're a deer or a squirrel.

Midwesterners are never in a hurry. Cities are small and there isn't much else nearby. How much of a hurry can you be in if the only thing outside a 5-mile radius is a corn field? And, I doubt a 10 second stop will make you late to the office six blocks away. To make sure you got it, here's how it works in Nebraska.

Walk sign is on, go right ahead. The guy in the tractor is even wishing you a good day.

Don't walk, go right ahead. The guy in the tractor is still wishing you a good day.

That's not quite how it works in Europe. No one jaywalks. It was incredibly weird for me to see people stand on the corner, even when no one was coming. You start to wonder if they're blind and simply didn't see the sign. If you do try and cross, bam, $60 fine. Ouch. I'd rather spend that on some fancy doodads.

More importantly, since no one jaywalks, drivers don't watch for you. If you aren't supposed to be walking, they'll speed right on by. At least the cars are tiny. They're so small they may just bounce off but you probably don't want to risk it. Here's what my experience was like.

Walk sign is on, look at me go. That little car is waiting for me oh so patiently.

Don't walk, I'm glad I didn't get too far out there. My poor bows!!!! I hope they didn't fall down a sewer grate.

Some countries are worse than others. Take Italy for example, you may be hit regardless of the walk sign. All those mopeds seem to be in quite a hurry. Here's what it looked like.

Sorry, you need to excuse me. I'm going to go cry in the fetal position now.

Until next time, God bless America.

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