China Walk Man

I’m always fascinated by walk/don’t walk signals when I travel. Sometimes they are just simple stick figures cut out of a piece of black board that is lit from behind. Other times the figures are elegantly shaped and intricately lighted. You can tell a lot about a country by the workmanship of their crosswalk figures.

Certainly the most famous is the East German Ampelmännchen, a portly figure with a top hat. Even to this day visitors can tell which part of the former divided city they are in by simply looking at the crosswalk figure (although many have been replaced with rather boring EU characters).

I certainly wish I had started taking photographs of my favorite crosswalk figures when I first began traveling; I’d have a great collection by now.

Recently, I spotted the above animated walk man while crossing the street in China. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an active walk signal. And, with such a wonderful gait! I wasn’t about to let this one go by undocumented and so I stood in the middle of the street and shot a short video of this fine example of China moving up in the world.