Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Sign Of The Times

Being the world traveller that I am (cough, cough), I'm sure many countries have variations on pedestrian crossing signs.  Well except in India where it seems to me anything goes when it comes to traffic and crossing the road and you just close your eyes and make a dash for it.  I think it's their sole method of population control !  

But when I'm dragged kicking and screaming from my car and have to perform as a pedestrian for a while, I'm used to road crossing signs with a symbol of a hand or a little standing still man or a walking man or something similar in either red or green to indicate I can or cannot cross the road. I can even understand the WALK/DON'T WALK signs in US cities, although when they flash as well, I don't take that as a command as such but maybe that's the dull Brit in me coming to the fore. I compromise and cross the road with a somewhat jaunty gait. 

So when I was in London recently and wanted to cross the road at the corner of Green Park leading down to Buckingham Palace, I was puzzled to see this variation.

I wasn't sure if I needed to move on to another crossing point in case this one was reserved for Charles and Phil The Greek when they go to the pub on an evening and don't want to use the Bentley. In the end I went with the flow, literally, and crossed with several other bemused tourists, some of whom were eagerly flipping through the pages of their guide books looking for an explanation for this sign.  Good luck with that, I thought.

Many things about sightseeing in London must befuddle tourists from different countries, cultures and customs but crossing the road shouldn't have to be one of them.

But if some redneck horse wants to cross the road to get to Buckingham Palace to visit a distant relative that has bettered itself in the UK, then in the immortal words of Bill Engvall......"here's your sign" !!!


rhymeswithplague said...

You have created a new riddle: Why did the redneck horse cross the road? To get to Buckingham Palace to visit a distant relative that has bettered itself in the UK!

The more crass among us (can you say Joan Rivers?) joke about Princess Anne counting with her hoof. Maybe the location of the sign makes a rude kind of sense after all....

Debby said...'s Bill Engvall that says that.

Cool sign though!

Silverback said...

Thanks Debby and ironically I'd Googled it before I wrote it. Just saw Jeff's name in some of the search results and was so sure he used that phrase.

Anyway I've changed it now.

Daphne said...

Of course, London's full of history so I expect these traffic lights for horses were left over from Victorian times. They probably used to be lit by candles.

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