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Sunday, January 14, 2007
But I Live Here
This weekend, per usual I hung out with a bunch of my friends and we travelled around DC and Sunday, I decided to amble around the city alone and go to a few places I've been meaning to get to but haven't had the time. Of course, during my travels we ran across none other than the omnipresent tourists. They're everywhere...Metro trains, buses, in the streets, in restaurants...I can't escape them. So like many bloggers before me, and like many that will come after me, I've decided to pen an open letter to the tourists of my city (yeah, I live in a burb, but dammit it's my city too and I hang out and spend a lot of my time here, so I get to voice my unhappines...hmmph)

Dear DC Tourists,

Welcome to our city. I'm glad you're here to visit, really I am. I know for many of you, this is your first time in a big city and the first time taking public transportation, so let me help you out in a few areas.

Please understand that mornings and evenings are rush hour here, just like in your city, so that means the train will be crowded. These are not good times for you to "take the big city subway" so you can add that to your list of life's accomplishments. Also, when you get on the train, go to the center of the car...the recording says so for a reason. When you count stops or make googly eyes at all the station names, or talk about "the first time I rode a subway in 1907..." we know you're a tourist. So there is no need to say, "Harriet, stop acting like a tourist, try to look more like one of the locals". See, I know you didn't think I heard you say that because I had my ipod on, but no matter how loud I blasted the thing, your screechy voice carried louder. Oh, and subways make that squealing noise sometimes, that's just what they do. Please don't look in my direction for guidance or to see how I react. "Psst, the local doesn't seem fazed by that, so I guess it must be normal", is never a good thing to be saying.

Metro has created these cute little phrases and put them in in their advertising. "Doorker" and "Escalump" refer directly to you. So rather than laugh at how to pronounce these words, pay attention to their meaning. Please also understand that if you're pushing a stroller the size of a Buick, move to the CENTER of the vehicle and hold on tight. I don't want you or your baby to fly in my lap when the train lurches as they tend to do. Nor do I want to fight with your behemoth stroller when I'm trying to exit the train. Oh, and one last thing...PLEASE...stand on the right, walk on the left!

The Locals and Life Here
We live and work here. We're not really all that concerned with your tour group from Duluth. Just please don't get in our way. When you're blocking the entrance to the Capitol taking tacky pictures or holding us hostage in metro stations, you are keeping us from getting to work and going about our lives.

We are very well aware of how expensive it is to live here. I don't like paying out of my nose for everything here, but I like living here so I pay up. When you compare the prices of things here to the prices in your hometown, you look silly and cheap. I know you weren't prepared for this kind of wallet shock, but that doesn't mean you can come up to me and say something like "How do you do it?! It's soo expensive". As a matter of fact, there's no need to speak to me at all on the street, since I'm still wearing my ipod headphones. That's the universal signal of "Lalalala...I'm not listening...".

We local people like to go to the Smithsonian Museums and The National Zoo, etc every now and again also. So don't be surprised when you see us walking past you and we don't have a camera or a ginormous fanny-pack handing out animal crackers to a bunch of kids.

I really hope you don't take what I'm saying as an insult. Again, we like having you here. Just understand that other people actually live here (you can tell who we are because we're not wearing the silly FBI or CIA T-shirts) and you need to allow us the space to go about our daily lives. Thanks so much!

"Step Back, Doors Closing",


Blogger BrillD said...

Hey Tasha. Funny stuff. I've never
been to D.C. yet. One day.

Blogger BigRAY_3183 said...

Ok how about the cribs that I was disecting as a "tourist"? how about fricking Ben's Chili Bowl huh?..........But I hear you, I don't get intrigued b/c it is in AMERICA.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


The funniest shit in Atlanta that I've seen is this guy I call Hustle Man. He chills at Five Points and sells these free papers called Creative Loafing for $2 to the tourist. I sat there one day and watched him hustle up about 20 dollars.

Blogger Golden Silence said...

Haha! Too true. Tourists are a pain in the ass.

Good post! Tourists can be annoying as hell. I've been a DC tourist, but I try to blend in as much as I can (as much as a Cali native can blend in on the east coast in the winter).

Blogger TDJ said...

Great post! The metro escaltors remind me of the highways - stay to the right if you're standing still. The left lane is for folks moving faster than you!

Blogger Enigma said...

Yep, it is the same way in ATL. I wish tourist and yeah, new resident folk would get with the lingo and get out of the way too. I gotta get to work, and I long since stopped being amazed by the traffic, the crowds, the houses etc. I wish they would just move their azz. Great post.

Blogger Golden Silence said...

I try to blend in as much as I can...

Me too, black girl interrupted. During my trips last year, not once did I get mistaken for a tourist. (Though in Santa Fe, where there aren't too many black people, they thought I was from France. Go figure.)

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