# Thursday, 08 June 2006

Imagine yourself in a hotel room early in the morning. You're tired, the alarm's just gone off, you're not ready to have a lot of lights on yet, you need to get up, iron some clothes, and get out the door all perky and chirpy to go teach a course. Luckily, the room has a coffee maker and supplies, so you can pre-caffeinate yourself. Yay! Now some of you, if you're North America-based, might have trouble spotting the sugar packets, but not me, oh no, I've been to Europe before you know, world traveller me, I know which is the sugar. It's those long skinny things. Like this:

One small problem: some of those are brown sugar, but the others are instant coffee. Ah well, I needed extra caffeine anyway.

Of course, whenever you go somewhere new, it opens your eyes to what people think is obvious. Take road signs for example. What does this mean?

I figured it out eventually from signs that have some more specific rules on it: No Stopping.

Try this one:

That means "end of motorway" and appears on most exit ramps to remind you that you're leaving the highway and changing your default traffic rules. I figured that out because the same symbol, which to me looks like an inukshuk, shows up on more understandable signs:

Another mystery was this one:

Though it "clicked" for me when I saw this variant:

Now there are some signs I think are brilliant:

  

But all in all, I'm really glad I'm leaving the driving to professionals on this trip. And I speak the language!

Kate

Thursday, 08 June 2006 04:53:56 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]
Friday, 09 June 2006 14:39:36 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Although they require some learning first, there are good parts with the non-verbal traffic signs:
- Way easier to distiguish from far away. I am now in the US, and all text looks the same (some black scribble) if from a certain distance.
- Europe has many languages. The signs are language-independent
Mihai
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