Crossing any street in China is potentially hazardous to your health. Apparently, the pedestrian light works more as a courtesy light. Unlike America, pedestrians have no “right of way.” While crossing the street, you have to look forward for the cars turning right towards you. But you also need to look behind you to spot the cars making their left turn towards you. Chinese people must have additional eyes in the back of their heads.
During our first week in Shanghai, a car came from behind at full speed and nearly hit me. (I’m going to hear it from my parents.) Fear not, I’ve since learned to look forwards and backwards while walking. How’s that for multitasking?
Even school cross walks with crossing guards are not exempt from the ruthlessness of drivers. The other day as we crossed in front of the school with a large group of students, a motorcyclist came flying by at full speed, cutting through the crosswalk, past the crossing guards who had halted all traffic.
It’s a game of real-life Frogger. But you can’t afford to lose. Ribbit.