Monday, July 12, 2004

The traffic slut

My walk to work every morning takes about 20 minutes. As it is summer time here in Shanghai along with the rest of the northern hemisphere it is unbearably hot and humid most days. Complicating these uncomfortable conditions is that fact that I have to wear pants and a short-sleeve dress shirt to work, as well as carry my 8lb laptop bag. Furthermore, my sickly white body, when confronted by such conditions as heat, humidity, heavy electronics baggage, and pants, tends to sweat rather profusely. Therefore, my walk to and from work usually results in thoroughly sweat-soaked outer garments and undergarments that can best be described as "soupy."

Mainly because of this soupy undergarment phenomenon, I am not in the best of moods on my walk to and from the office. Perhaps only to further aggravate my already uncomfortably sweaty situation, the Chinese government has placed traffic sluts at nearly every intersection along my walk to work.

You see, in China, jay-walking is a god-given right. Most adventures in street-crossing are best analogized as a life and death game of frogger. However, on these particular intersections, for some unknown reason, the government has decided that jay-walking is not allowed. You must wait until the little green man is beconning before you can cross the street. To enforce this unusual regulation, traffic sluts (their official name), have been placed in two corners of each intersection (see Figure 1) and empowered with an ear shattering whistle and a mean slut attitude that gives due credence to their government santioned name.


Figure 1


These mighty vixens with their blood-curdling whistle regularly stop me from contributing to the general pedestrian anarchy, and force me to wait until the little guy turns green in order to walk. This unneccessary and often enfuriating action causes to me to break my coasting stride on the walk to work, and wait at a usually clear intersection for upwards of one minute. In this one minute, because of my broken stride and loss of the cooling wind created by my speedy gait, i begin to sweat, and my clothes grow soupier by the second*. Because of this, I hate the traffic sluts, and they are on my shit-list. Here is a picture of a typical traffic slut:



*Note: I never see chinese people sweating...ever...and they wear much warmer clothes than I do

4 Comments:

Anonymous said...

josh,
I would like to bring something very interesting to your attention. Anyone who goes to our old school CRE BBYO website, will be inclined to click on the link entitled "new page, click this link" which will then take them to joshcohen.com, so that they can read about traffic sluts. therefore, your legacy will live forever.
Yes, i am SO incredibly busy at work that i had time to figure this out. The US can't wait to have you back.
MWA
Shira

July 20, 2004 1:25 PM  
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