|Paris traffic light. Doesn't|
the "stop" figure look totally
I was on my way to the store, walking, and crossed the street as I've done thousands of times before when all of a sudden a HUGE policeman was standing in front of me blocking my way.
"Madame"! (Very loud, attracting a lot of attention). "Do you know that you just crossed the street on the red light"? Well actually, he first asked me if I spoke French and I said "un peu" barely audible, not wanting to encourage any kind of conversation. He proceeded to tell me that I could be fined $42.00 for this, and it's for my own safety, and he frowned at me in that way people with authority do. I said "pardon pardon pardon" and after a few more frowns he let me go. There were a lot of people on the street and I could see them watching us trying to figure out what I had done. Then they smirked. Schadenfreude. They didn't get caught and I know damn well they were beside me!
I've heard of this before but I thought it was an urban legend. I've been crossing on the red light since I was old enough to walk. It's a way of life in Montréal. No one thinks anything of it! Don't the police have real criminals to catch? Aren't there any good robberies happening these days? Do they have to pick on unsuspecting pedestrians?
Anyway, it worked. I haven't crossed on a red light since without looking both ways and definitely won't cross if there is a policeman in sight!