Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Guide to being [really] Arab: Cross Cut like an immigrant

This morning, the Toronto Star's cover story is about Jaywalking. I was surprised that I, notorious for this act, was not pictured. Upon reading the article, I realize how stupid it is to get fined for jaywalking. $85? Is that how much you're trying to squeeze out of my paycheque alongside all the other ridiculous things I pay for? Check out the lines in this story, the opener is GOLD: "They are ruthless. They are fearless. They are breaking the law. With a phone in one hand, lunch in the other, they are also impressively persistent. Nothing, it seems, can thwart a Toronto jaywalker in progress: not the fear of being ticketed, not a horde of speeding cars nor even the daunting size of a truck passing within inches." Listen, those that are jaywalking while staring at their phone are not jaywalking...they are not paying attention. True jaywalkers cross in the most absurd conditions because they are pros. True jaywalkers know not to look at their phones. Those that stare at their phone have what we call A.D.D.
The writer continues, "(...) some of them even forcing a police car to stop to let them cross. The officer could have given the dozen pedestrians tickets or at least warnings." Um, hey, did you know that there's other crimes going on that are more important than someone crossing the street illegally and maybe that's why the cop was like "whatevs"?

It is my choice to put my life in "danger", if danger means the two way streets of Canada sans median. The streets aren't dangerous. In Jordan, you cross a highway. In Egypt, you have .001 seconds to bolt or get hit. I can't even begin to describe India. In Eastern Canada, drivers stop even when you're not intending to cross. In Toronto, people stop. In Montreal, they might. Now, just because I've lived in North America for 21 of my 23 years of life, does not mean I will not continue to cross the street like a Middle-Eastern person. People, remember, I am a Middle-Eastern person! If my sense of humour, cleanliness, generosity, and complaints didn't give it away, then my love of jay walking sure will. Also, remember, we "cut" the street, we don't "cross" it (see your parents for references).

I've crossed the roundabout in front of the Arc de Triomphe, not to say I did, but because I needed to get across from the Champs Elysées to the Arc and I wasn't about to go heels, okay? I can't stop my crossing ways. If the traffic light is two steps from me, I will still jay walk. I've almost gotten run over by various vehicles and streetcars (the 501 put your hands up) whether by biking or walking. I also do random crossings during storms. So you see friends, it's in my nature to cross in the most inappropriate manner. I survived the Middle-East where crossing the street is the equivalent of crossing a highway here, so I'm pretty sure my jay [walk] can handle North America. And if I do get run over then I'm pretty much blaming one of you for cursing me, cause that's the Middle-Eastern thing to do.

Love love,

the yuppie activist

P.S. Here's a video of the "walk" sign in Egypt. Note: he's running.

1 comment:

  1. The Collaborator-Finder27 January 2010 at 23:19

    "And if I do get run over then I'm pretty much blaming one of you for cursing me, cause that's the Middle-Eastern thing to do."

    LOL, my favorite line of the whole post!

    ..and it's funny, for the past I never jay walked here in Toronto, but after getting back from Cairo, it's been a hard habit to kick :)