The culture that is Germany (Jaywalking Edition)


Finally, my own Tyler Cowen-esque cultural observation – last Friday, the day the German president Christian Wulff was forced to resign remember, the daily tabloid Hamburger Morgenpost (circulation 115,000) ran this front page. The headline, Erwischt!, or Caught!

“How more and more Hamburgers are crossing at the red light – and how they make excuses,” it warns, in best Daily Mail style.

Yes, that woman running towards the camera is a jaywalker, ignoring the little red man in the most wreckless and cavalier fashion imaginable. Those people standing obediently behind her, observing the rules of the road, are the last hope for a society falling apart at the seams.

This is crusading journalism at its most inspiring – exposing jaywalkers as the deviants they are. How can she live with the shame I’ll never know. Fair play to Morgenpost for tackling this plague of impatience.

As for me, I still can’t help feeling like a lobotomised ¬†automaton when I stand in place waiting for the green man even when there is no traffic in sight, whatsoever. Some day, maybe even soon, I’ll think it the most natural thing in the world. I’ll have gone full-metal Colonel Kurtz, a native in all but name. Auf wiedersehen, Irland…


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