Friday, April 04, 2008

Traffic Cop

I guess the stress has made me overly emotional lately. I've started to become a vigilante.

In front of Aiden's school there's a very busy intersection that the kids have to cross. In the morning the "Green Moms" guard the crosswalks, but in the afternoon there aren't any guards. The immediate area has three schools very close together (elementary, middle, and high school) so you'd think that drivers would be careful, but they are not. I have already found myself shaking my fist and yelling at people for being careless in the streets around that area. Anyway, yesterday I waiting on the other side of the street (across from the school) as I always do, and watched the crosswalk light turn green and two girls proceed to cross. Then I saw a man, completely oblivious, driving through the intersection -- slowly, but without looking at all. I threw myself in front of the car and he stopped, startled. I started waving my arms, pointing to the two girls and the school. He held up his hand, like "sorry, my bad," but I just swatted my hand at him in disgust and stomped away. There were a few other nannys and moms on the sidewalk, so when I came back later with Aiden some of the kids were saying, "Aiden's mom, you were really angry, huh!" Stuff like that spreads fast.

Then today, I was crossing the street with Max and there was a series of cars parked on the side of the road, and a bunch of people campaigning for one of the candidates (#2, I forgot his name). (We have elections next week, and the candidates line up and blast all sorts of noisy messages all over the place.) I was grumbling to myself because they parked their cars ILLEGALLY on the side of the road, in an area where people often thoughtlessly park, causing all sorts of traffic problems in our already congested area, and making it difficult to walk safely. So I went up to the group of tee-shirted supporters and said, "Why is a law-maker parking ILLEGALLY?" One woman just smiled and said, "I understand." But I was mad, so I went on. "Do you understand that you're making it very difficult for all these people over here [gesturing to all the cars trying to enter that street] by parking there? Do you understand how dangerous that is? This kind of thing makes me angry, really really angry!" She just kept nodding and smiling (a bit nervously) and saying, "I understand, I understand," while backing away from me. I huffed away.

I'm going to start slashing tires next.


Anonymous said...


I've just found your blog via the Korea Blog List, and it's good to find a blog by an another expat parent in Korea. I'd like to read more, but your two years of archives look a bit daunting (may I suggest an "about" page?)!

Anyway, I can relate to your concerns about the traffic around Aiden's school. My daughter is only two at the moment (another is due in October) but every time I cross the road close to my house I think about when she's old enough to go to school and when she'll have to cross by herself. In the 5 years I've been in my present location in Busan, I've been hit no less than 10 times by cars at one intersection nearby (not fatally of course!), and at the closest one to my apartment it's rare to see a car stop for the red lights for a mere pedestrian crossing.

More than anything else, I think all the constant worry about her crossing the road in Korea will be more than enough to take my family back to New Zealand!

Look forward to reading more in the future.


Jennifer said...

My archives look impressive but I'm not that frequent a blogger so the contents are actually quite sparse...
But in any case, (for all my readers) I did recently add a list of essays on the sidebar. Many of them are over on the printculture blog, but at some point I realized I had amassed enough that they didn't all show up when you click through to my author page so I decided to make my own list. Not everything is there, just the ones I kind of like in retrospect.

Melissa said...

I'm with you Tire Slasher!! I vent my ire (is that a good sentence or a terrible one?) almost daily - especially since Hayden started daycare.

It's absolutely ridiculous.