Friday, May 16, 2014

Die Moderne Ampelfrauen (The Modern Traffic Light Woman)


Pedestrian traffic lights are the domain of men in Berlin. Since 2005, the former East German traffic light man (Ampelmann) dictates when to cross the street in Berlin. (Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the West Berlin Ampelmann did not have a hat.)

Now, the Berlin Senate is considering a move to add traffic light women (Ampelfrauen) to the city's streets. A number of other Germany cities already have Ampelfrauen, but Berlin wants its Ampelfrau to reflect the modern German woman. Instead of a skirt and ponytail found on the current Ampelfrau, Berlin wants its female to wear slacks and high heel shoes. I like the idea of slacks, but high heel shoes? Perhaps, sneakers (runners) would be a better choice. First of all, they're healthier for your feet, and secondly, I see a lot more women wearing sneakers on the street than high heels. Moreover, the truly modern woman doesn't wear shoes that are obviously uncomfortable.

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