While walking in downtown Taipei, a foreigner recently found herself laughing in the middle of the crosswalk. The reason? She was facing a huge zebra butt with a timer counting down the seconds before the light turned red.
Nicola Smith, a correspondent for the Telegraph, is currently based in Taiwan. An expert at reporting important issues in Asia, she also shares casual and fun pictures of things that entertain or amuse her in Taiwan.
Among other highlights, she shared a picture of a zebra butt traffic light located at the intersection of the Civic Boulevard (市民大道) and Dunhua North Road (敦化北路).
The odd public art led Smith to tweet, “What city planner thinks ‘maybe we should put crosswalk lights in a zebra butt’? Quirky #Taipei. It brightened my evening.”
— Nicola Smith (@niccijsmith) October 13, 2020
The tweet attracted the attention of the foreign community and locals alike, with one foreigner quickly chiming in, adding that he had always been amused by the “green man” in Taiwan’s crosswalk traffic lights, which does “a little jive as he walks.”
In fact, the zebra butt is one of Taiwan’s oldest public artworks. It was named “Crosswalk for time” (時間斑馬線) when installed in 1999.
As the public art piece only had the bottom half of the zebra, another zebra-in-a-cage display was erected a year later in another section of the street.