Sunday, 20 December 2015 10:25

So many thigh-high pillars of… hope?

Some of the many, many pillars in old town Limassol Some of the many, many pillars in old town Limassol

I am generally intrigued by roadworks. I find them fascinating to watch in every country, as they always have something a bit haphazard about them.

Sometimes I even stop to watch – something which generally goes unnoticed, as there are usually quite a few onlookers with unidentifiable roles… I will actually miss a green light to just stand and observe – at times you’d almost expect Mr Bean to walk onto the scene at any moment.

There’s one particular sidewalk in Limassol that I have now seen built and destroyed to be rebuilt a total of three times. I almost feel like if I ever notice any work there again, I should ask them if they are sure that this is okay with the guys with the sledgehammers.

But I guess public works are just difficult to coordinate/carry out all over the world. I even remember that we once had a public works scandal in the otherwise very orderly Salzburg about automated parking bollards put up in some very inappropriate places.

‘Stuff’ happens, but the forest of parking posts in downtown Limassol has taken on quite mindboggling dimensions.

There are so many now, one has to keep watching out for them and be vigilant not to bump one’s pedal or knee or bag. Sometimes I actually think they are following me, as I see endless lines of blurry grey passing, feeling like it’s a science fiction movie where things turn into people… with those numbers it would be a whole army!

I had been told that there was a lot of talk about all the posts in the local media and about how shop owners are unhappy about them. Until recently, I had been thinking that maybe this really was the right thing to do to keep those pesky cars off the sidewalks.

However, it seems there has been a new increase, on the sides or in the middle to divide roads, reducing the distance between them to often less than a metre – which car would fit even if it were more?

Now there’s barely a road left, no matter how narrow, without these posts. Many of them are in tiny one-way streets where with or without them, a stopped car would halt traffic, so why put them?

The 80cm-high posts have been decorated in some places, many as part of the Street Life Festival, and actually look cheerful, but lately riding your bike or walking around old town, you feel like you’re in some sort of prison, with posts, posts, posts… everywhere! I guess they are there to ‘protect’ pedestrians, but if we get any more, they may even start hindering them… “Oops can’t get to the shop, won’t quite fit through that gap there.”

One is inclined to worry that possibly it has now become some kind of effort to make everything look uniform, so that people will stop noticing them if they are absolutely everywhere? Or perhaps, quite contrarily, maybe Limassol’s little streets with all their glitering metal posts will soon become visible from space like the Great Wall of China or some desert highways. Interesting times we live in.

Article as featured in The Cyprus Weekly of December 18, 2015 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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