I have found that you have to sort of step off the curb, then look for a break in the flow of traffic before stepping out, and the cars will slow down enough to let you go. Or, if the cars are stopped, or moving slowly, you just weave your way through. I learned from a friend here that locals will act very insistent but they don’t actually want to throw the first punch, which is how I survived my closest of calls with a moped.
So when crossing the street, you really have to be especially careful of people turning right, because they will try to go between you and the curb if necessary, especially if they are a small car or a moped. I was just trying to get off the street after crossing five “lanes” (they don’t really have lines of the street, you just kind of go wherever) when a moped tried to challenge me. I kind of started him down, he stopped a foot away, and I made it across safely. Don’t worry, I don’t usually make of point of confronting motor vehicles.
The sidewalks tend to be rather narrow (though I think wider than the ones in Leiden), and on really narrow streets, cars park on the sidewalks so that you have to step out onto the street to get around. You sort of get use to walking in the street a bit and the cars never get that close. The way that people and traffic mingle around here reminds me a bit of Europe, although there is the noticeable absence of bikes and a little less of following road rules here.
|View from where I am staying now|
|Just some ancient ruins I walk by on my way to/from work everyday...|