I was on the side road.
The light was red.
I stopped and waited.
A car joined the line behind me.
Three cars pulled up to wait across the other side of the main road.
More cars joined the end of my line.
Amy was counting and commenting on the trucks thundering down the main road. "Green truck! Big truck! Three, four, pretty truck!"
One in every five or so trucks turned into the industrial estate and gave me a little gasp moment as they swung wide around the corner seemingly headed straight for my cute little Suzuki before they (of course) completed their precision manoeuvre and returned to their lane without incident.
The cars whizzed past, a truck joined the line across the other side of the main road and we kept waiting.
And waiting. By now we must have been waiting more than four minutes. I know that's not long in the grand scheme of life but it sure seems like a long time when you're waiting on a traffic light.
I was zoning out from listening to Amy's truck commentary and beginning to wonder whether I usually wait this long at this light and had just somehow never noticed or whether there was something wrong with the light or ...? when there was a tap at my window.
I don't think the sensor has registered your car yet. I think you need to move forward a little?
Oh. Thank you!
That's it. See the red light on the pole over there? When that turns on it means the traffic sensor has registered your car.
Oh really? I had no idea. Thank you for telling me.
And he walked away back to his car to be buckled in and ready to continue with his journey when the lights changed in about 20 seconds.
Wow. This poor old guy was kept waiting forever (in some highly unlikely sequence of events both the driver of the car waiting across the main road from me and I had parked too far back from the intersection to register on the traffic sensor and the lights are on a sensor only sequence so they would not have changed until one of us moved forward. Bloody over-cautious women drivers, huh?), realised the problem, calmly got out of his car and came to explain it all very clearly and helpfully- even explaining the reason it happened so it could be avoided in future- and then swiftly returned to his car.
What a guy.