Jaza's World Trip

How did the German cross the road?

There's one little eccentricity that I've not been able to help but notice, everywhere I've been so far in Germany. In Berlin and elsewhere, German people seem to have a uniquely large amount of patience and respect when crossing the road. The pedestrian traffic lights here in Germany enjoy taking their time: after the vehicle lights have completed their (also-slow) transition from yellow to red, the pedestrian lights take a further 4 or 5 seconds to register green. What with all this traffic-light sluggishness, you'd think that the poor pedestrians would tire of waiting for — well, for nothing — and would simply walk. But no: not Germans. Every single time, without exception, they wait the several seconds for the vehicle lights to turn red; and then they keep waiting another several seconds for the pedestrian lights to turn green; and only then do they cross the road. In Deutschland, ve vait until it is time to cross — ve must not break ze rules, ja!

I'm finding this behaviour terribly amusing... and of course, so German! I can't think of many other places in the world where they'd do this. After Mexico, South America and (most recently) Italy — where traffic lights are strictly for decoration, and where crossing the road is an adventure not for the faint-hearted — it seems nothing less than absurd and inhuman to me. And I know it's naughty of me, but I can't stop thoughts from creeping into my head, that (jokingly, of course) allude to "Germans", and "just following orders" :P. I'm aware of The Golden Rule™ that applies when visiting Germany: but I must admit, there are many times when I find it shockingly, irresistibly tempting to Mention The War.