Someone mistook me for a tourist in Dublin yesterday.
Not because I looked lost but because I waited at traffic lights for the signal to cross.
‘Only tourists do that’
Most days and hours in Dublin people and machines move in a kind of fretful manic anarchy, where the general will often prevails against logic and law.
Cars bullet through red lights, and far too often through the ‘green man’ for pedestrians at the next crossing, since the timing is linked in sequence on traffic lights. The drivers appear oblivious or if they are aware or notice as they rocket past, they turn a blind eye, obey translucent blinkers and stare straight ahead fiercely – determined to convince you and probably themselves that they’re invisible and immaterial.
Cyclists do exactly the same, sweeping in from every direction under the sun like Ben Hur without the horses but the same zeal to scythe obstacles from their path.
Pedestrians blithely zip into traffic, anxious to save the precious two minutes that seemingly are worth more than the rest of their lives. Large enough herds of walkers, in true zombie fashion, can be emboldened to face down buses and trucks.
Ignore something and it doesn’t exist – lights, laws, lives.
To hell with logic.
Usually no-one gets hurt; sometimes they do; occasionally there are deaths.
It’s all rather pointless.
Everyone gets frustrated at times with waiting.
But the ‘anything goes’ free-for-all at the moment is actually causing chaos for everybody – and delays for everyone.
Many of the more frantic speedsters who jump lights are reacting to knock effects from earlier jousts, and the vicious -and potentially deadly – cycle continues as frustrations and anger flare and flourish.
A little patience and a lot more common-sense could be a lifesaver.