Tuesday, 20 July 2010
The traffic here is unreal. A lot of streets do not have sidewalks! and the ones that do have cars parked on them. As a result, when you walk, you are forced to walk IN the street, as close to the parked cars as possible. The cars in Cyprus, even on the smaller more crowded roads, rarely slow down for us pedestrians. Instead, they prefer to "buzz" us - as my kids call it- passing us with mere inches between us and their side mirror. If the driver is especially aggressive, he'll honk and yell at us. niiiiice.
The road in front of our flat is a big one. The cars on this road drive very fast. After 9 o'clock at night, I wouldn't even dare drive this road. It is frequented by motorcyclists driving over 100 while RACING and/or POPPING WHEELIES. I keep joking about it, but it's actually very shocking and disturbing to see.
Since we arrived, the kids and I have crossed that street (during day light hours only!) several times, essentially risking our lives for some really yummy ice cream sold opposite our flat. It's also where the bank and post office are located, but the ice cream is the true incentive for the real-life game of Frogger. We check (and re-check) to see if it's clear and when a little window presents itself we yell "RUN!" and dart across screaming. Then, when we make it to the other side, we sometimes share a fit of laughter as the sense of relief hits us. Once we have our ice cream in hand we stand in a huddle, psyching ourselves up for the return trip home.
I mentioned this scenario to my mother-in-law today and she was MORTIFIED! She starts saying, "No, no no no no no NO!! Do NOT cross that street! It's too dangerous!! You must go UNDER it!" and explained that further to the south of our apartment is what they call a Pedestrian Subway.
Hmmm.. Good to know!
When I got home I excitedly poured over my city map, which is quite detailed and shows the embassies, post offices, libraries and even parking lots. I had hopes the map legend might reveal more of these pedestrian subways. No such luck.
This bit of information is going to improve, and potentially extend, our lives. Now that I know they exist, I am on the hunt to locate more of these tunnels.