Friday, 27 August 2010
Belgian road junctions...
I recently had another of those moments that can only happen in this city. It was at a road junction that only a Belgian urban planning commitee could come up with. 4 roads, 2 tramlines, and numerous hidden bus lanes all converge on one junction - and it is worth remembering that Belgians also place their pedestrian crossings on road junctions. It is hairy to say the least.
I had a green light, and so it was my turn to inch forward, head frantically turning from side to side like a fighter pilot scanning the skies for enemy trolley-buses. Then the lady in front of me, riding a pushbike, stopped in the middle of the road. She then, to my astonishment, dismounted and proceeded to pull up her stockings. I yelled, politely, for her move her bleeding jacksy. She ignored me completely, taking her own sweet time adjusting her attire. In the meantime, the lights had changed, and the floodgates opened, with me stuck in the epicentre of the junction. From every direction all manner of vehicles, public and private, hurtled towards me hooting, flashing, and wildly gesticulating at me.
Belgium's answer to Nora Batty calmly got back on her bike and rode to the pavement as if nothing had happened. It was not a nice experience.