Frogger and the Pedestrian

It's wide and no traffic signals, so you run

It’s wide and no traffic signals, so you run

Jeddah has a complete disdain and disregard for pedestrians. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. The sidewalks are maintained but are not continuous. Let me rephrase. I see maintenance street cleaners in some places. In others there is chaos and trash. Construction debris or broken sidewalks are everywhere. Many places especially in front of strip malls are come as you are. Some have sidewalks.

It's really not for walking anyway

It’s really not for walking anyway

Others allow you to park your car in the doorway. And the cars drive on the sidewalk when there is too much traffic. The only thing is that the street lamps obstruct the way so the cars must weave onto and off the sidewalk. So it will be no surprise that walking about has been a challenge. You don’t walk during the day. You will simply melt or fry. At night, it’s poor vision. I worry that the drivers are too old or too young to drive. Everyone speeds right up to the moment you have to slow to turn. They pretty much scream to a stop at the light. Tailgating is an art. And everyone changes lanes without signaling. My kids played “Frogger” (so did I). You are a frog trying to cross road and avoid getting killed by traffic. It’s the incessant little vapid jingle that comes to me every time I try to cross the street. Mostly there are no lights so you time your crossing, clutch your loose valuables (glasses, camera), and make a run for it. Where there are lights to cross, don’t trust the bastards, the drivers in both directions like to keep moving when the light is red. After all, green means ‘go’ and red means ‘go faster.’

Watch out for the mirrors. A lot of people get hit by them.

Watch out for the mirrors. A lot of people get hit by them.

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