Crossing The Road Paved With Good Intentions

, , , , | Hopeless | December 28, 2018

Having grown up in a well-developed country, crossing the road is probably the least of our worries due to the abundance of traffic lights, zebra crossings, and pedestrian bridges. Recently, my family went for a vacation to Bangkok, Thailand as a group of eight people. Being a dense city area, the traffic is pretty nightmarish there. Around our hotel, to get to the other side of the main road will require you to either jaywalk or to walk a long distance to the overhead transit system and cross its bridge.

We saw what appeared to be a traffic light for pedestrians, and crossed the first half normally. The main road was quite wide and crossing it would require us to pass through two traffic lights, with each stopping cars flowing from a certain direction. Reaching the other half, we realized that the traffic light was either broken or disused, as it remained red — or didn’t even turn on at all; I can’t remember the details. So, we were stuck in the middle of the road, and it was difficult for us to cross as a large group and with all the cars moving at a pretty fast speed. I recalled us getting stuck there for at least a solid two minutes.

A motorcyclist saw eight of us, looking like lost tourists wanting to cross the road, and stopped for us in the middle lane — it was a three-lane road — and motioned for the cars to stop, as well. Surprisingly, the cars at the other lanes stopped, and he gestured for us to cross, which we did quickly and gratefully.

While this might seem like a small gesture, the kindness of the Thais did impress me significantly. While I had seen roads in other countries which were as “messy” as this one, this is definitely the first time I had seen someone stopping just to allow us jaywalkers to cross, even though they did not have to.

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