September 22, 2008

Figure Skaters and Traffic

I just got a new driver's license today. I hope I never have to use it. I'm glad to walk here. The driving in this country is insane - one part video game and one part chicken. Stop signs in my neighborhood are ignored and stop lights are optional.

Yesterday, we witnessed a car make a left turn from the far right lane (of three lanes) during a red light. Why? Because he could, I guess.

It makes being a pedestrian here like playing a frogger. But I'm good at it. Why? Because I'm was a figure skater. Anyone who has been on an over-sold freestlye session knows.

You know how some people make it to the top of the escalator, take two steps and stop? And the same folks who drag heavy suitcases through the gateway at the airport and stop three steps beyond it to look for their next gate? These are not figure skaters. Figure skaters know that seats 23A through 40E are still walking off the plane. Figure skaters know what's behind them as much as what's in front.

I know there've been collisions from time to time, but that only makes us better for the next time. (Here's my alternate theory for another day .... just like drivers there are defensive and offensive skaters. Guess which ones win the medals? They manage to dodge or more likely intimidate the other skaters, avoiding puncture marks. Either tactic makes you a better competitor.)

But back to my first point ... Figure skaters are good in a crowd of people ... we can dart, dodge and bypass folks as well as any basketball or soccer player. Unfortunately, this is nothing you can put on your resume or even use to help pass skating tests.

But here, it helps me get across the street safely!

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