Friday, June 15, 2007
Waiting for the light to change
The machine stops
Shanghai, China, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]
Sometimes, I take a picture and what makes it cool only dawns on me long after I've put the camera away. As an example, I offer up this image of a knot of folks on scooters waiting for the light to turn green.
As I crossed the street and grabbed this image, I failed to recall that this was a highly atypical view of a typical Shanghai intersection. This is a city whose chaotic traffic makes Manhattan, Montreal and London look positively tame in comparison. Red lights are often mere suggestions as drivers jockey for position and lean on their horns almost as if it's a national sport.
People don't get angry, mind you, and there's pretty much no yelling. But it's still hugely entertaining to watch.
So when I saw this near-silent group waiting patiently for the light, my brain failed to process the fact that no one here waits patiently for anything. I guess I was slow that day. I blame the jet lag.
Your turn: Traffic in your burg. Please discuss.
One more thing: I buried a literary reference somewhere in this entry. Wanna guess what it is?