elb's hovel of thoughts

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Roadside Gestures

A little habit of mine (especially if I'm in a hurry, which is pretty frequent), is to cross the road despite the fact that the pelican crossing is still red and the road traffic light is still pretty much green. Of course, this isn't a problem if there are no cars in sight, or there is a relatively large gap where one could briskly walk across. The interesting bit, however, comes when a car is approaching on the side closer to the other side of the street, with the green light in the car's favour.

Normally, one would just wait until the car fully passes before crossing. However, if I am feeling analytical in a hurry, I would observe the car for a second, and during that second I would quickly estimate the velocity and time that it would take for the car to pass. I would work on the assumption that the car would carry on at that speed, or accelerate, instead of slowing down, and decide on the speed that I would walk.

So, I would start crossing the road before the car is still, let's say, 20 meters from the light. Normally the car would have passed me at least a good two seconds before my foot reaches its lane. Of course, not every car driver has confidence when they see a pedestrian step onto the road before they have even passed their green light, as I found out earlier: the car driver had his horn blazing and had applied the brakes, and gave me the 'are-you-crazy' gesture.

I gave him the 'oi,-can-you-just-move-on-you-didn't-need-to-brake-because-I-had-calculated-my-crossing' gesture, and to top it off, the 'apa-lu-mau' upward sweeping hand gesture as the car moved away. Hmmm, I'm still Malaysian somewhere....

p.s. to a random person on the street: Don't give me that crap, because you never ever were willing to get out of your way to meet up. Always had excuses, and probably always will.

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