Look 9 Ways When You Cross the Street

When living life in most any foreign country, one thing westerners usually comment on is the job of crossing the street. Westerners often have the mindset of waiting for an opening, and then being able to safely traverse the entire street without a worry. This is not the way it works in most of the world.

Traffic patterns are more erratic compared to what we are used to at home. Two painted lanes house four or four and a half lanes worth of traffic. If this bothers you, then you are going to be frustrated often. It isn’t wrong, or reckless, it is reality.

This leads to my second thought. When you are crossing the street (Currently I am in China for this reference, but it translates), you need to look all 9 ways before you cross:
– Left
– Right
– Behind
– Ahead
– NW
– NE
– SW
– SE
– Down to watch for open drains and manholes

This process is not paranoia, it is simply being a good pedestrian, vehicles can come from any direction, so watch in every direction

I’ll close with my third thought. You are not actually crossing the road. Sure, you want to be on the other side of the road, but you aren’t actually crossing the entire thing. You are crossing one car width at a time. You see how far you are able to make it, and you go to the safe point. Once you are there, allow traffic to continue flowing, and then when you have an opening, continue further. You may need to stop 8 times while crossing, but you are working a process, not a single action.

Remember the 5 D’s of crossing the street in many foreign countries:
Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, & Dodge

Busy Asian city street in Yokohama, Japan at night.

 

*Edit: The original  9 directions (Left, Right, etc…) were somehow left out because I don’t proofread.

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