So, long back in Groningen (The Netherlands, 2002) I was standing at a zebra crossing and waiting to cross. A car stopped some way back. I waited for it to pass (using my India logic, the car should go first or so I thought!) and the driver kept peering at me. I peered at the driver some more. He peered back at me, with no one moving. Then the driver decied to proceed with caution and went past me, giving me curious glances. I could not figure out what was happening. Then I went to meet a professor at the University of Groningen and he dropped me back to the city center. We were crossing a road together and when a bus made merest of a motion he said to me, “He seems to be in such a hurry!” It was then I realized that buses are supposed to wait for pedestrians. And then I understood the puzzlement of the car driver at my standing still like a statue.
Next year, I was in Italy (University of Moedna, 2003) and I was discussing the same incident with a person at the conference I had gone to attend. He cautioned me, “Don’t expect that here, be very careful when you cross.” And it was sound advice! Even though Italians are nowhere near us Indians they do tend to gun their motors and try to scare you when the light turns green.
Then many years later (2007, 2008) I was in UK and pedestrian crossings in Oxford were quite peaceful. London I felt was a little different. People will be very patient till the light is red but let it become yellow and you should start getting out of the way. They tend to get impatient if they find pedestrians in their way after yellow light.
And in India you just have to trust your eyes and not any light or anything else when you are at a pedestrian crossing.
What is the experience like in the place where you live?