I work in a tourist town. Washington, DC. Every year I loathe the time when school trips begin and slow moving tourists abound. They don't know how to ride a public transportation system, they don't understand the weather patterns around here, and they are constantly taking pictures of things that are not in the least bit interesting. I've got stories for all three of these problems I have with these out of towners but my least favorite thing about tourists in my town? Segways!
I take metro once a week. That's all, I'm not a regular metro rider but I do take one of the busier lines, red line, and I get off at Metro Center, the busiest of all stops. In my afternoons I am usually in a hurry because I have to make an appointment after work. I have to leave enough time for slow trains, and station holdings as well as walking from the stop to my appointment. An hour total it takes me. But, in the summer it can be frightening. Frightening because when I switch from orange/blue to red at Metro Center, the tourists are waiting in huge throngs on the platform and milling about trying to figure out which way to go...toward Shady Grove? Toward Silver Spring? And the way they do this is to get on an escalator, chat with their groups about it incessantly and then at the top (or bottom) STOP (!) to try and figure out which way to go.....AAARRRGGGHH! Really? You coudn't do this on the non-moving part of the station? You couldn't step aside for a few minutes to collect yourself and figure out where you need to go? Do you really need to crowd the escalator (Metro etiqutte is to stay to the right if you are not moving up or down the excalator as it is, they pipe in those instructions over the loud speaker constantly so it's not like it is news)? I have shit to do and places to go people! Sheesh...tourists.
When I don't take metro I take a commuter bus that conveniently drops me off 1 block from work Constitution and 14th, and picks up 1 block on the opposite side of the street from work which happens to be in front of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the same Museum depicted in Night at the Museum 2: Battle at the Smithsonian. There are of course tons of tourists, all the time because well it's a museum and it is free. But, I always chuckle when it comes summer time and it rains in DC. Summer time in DC is a constant guessing game of weather pattern. It can be sunny in the morning, muggy then rain, then sunny again and then hot and muggy again all in the span of 12 hours. So I laugh when ill prepared tourists surely headed out on a beautiful sunny day find themselves only bombarded by rain mid-afternoon. And where were they when rain fell? The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. And how do I know this? They are ALL wandering around wondering where the mall is (next block over dopes, you can't miss the huge obelisk in the middle of it called the Washington Monument) and wearing blue rain ponchos from the Smithsonian. It makes me feel better for some reason and I can deal with them clogging sidewalks and getting in my way of catching my bus.
Right next to my work is the old post office pavilion. It used to house a post office but it only served that function for a little while. You can read more about it here and here. For some reason there is a smallish statue of Benjamin Franklin in the front. I'm not sure why. Maybe having to do with Franklin's interest in printing or something but I don't think it has much to do with the post office pavilion itself. Anyway, tourists will take a picture of it and take pictures of themselves in front of it and it goes on and on. Really I can't understand this because there is an entire mall full of statues ten times better on the mall (Jefferson, Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Roosevelt etc) that should have their picture taken with you in front of it or on its own. This one seemed to have been thrown in as an after thought. But who am I to judge, right?
Finally, my fav...the thing that irks me most about tourists in DC. Fat ass out of towners who obnoxiously zip by on segways! These things. I can't stand them and I can't understand why fat ass tourists smelling like sweat and sun screen dont want to enjoy walking along the mall and taking in the fantastic architecture that is the mall or other parts of DC?
Why do they choose to do this? Walking is so much better for you then zipping around on a segway trying to avoid others who are walking like normal people and taking up the sidewalk like the selfish fat ass pricks they are! I nearly got trampled by a whole herd of them yesterday. I decided to take a nice walk to the Lincoln Memorial. Nice long walk, about 4 miles round trip. I am basking in my endorphin high and the comfort that I am surrounded by beautiful architecture devoted to our great presidents, our fallen soldiers and others who have served our great country on a beautiful, warm sunny summer day and what do I hear, chattering, yammering and a cacophany of noise from 12 or so segway jerks zipping by on my left with no regard to others, not slowing down in a crowded area and staying all around completely oblivious to anyone except themselves. Fat ass jerks.
I have learned to come to terms with the fact that the tourists are a constant fixture. Sometimes they make me crack up; see this post here but for the love for all that is good in this world, please, please please, get off your fat pale asses, don't rent a segway and WALK around the mall. It is a beautiful place. I never take for granted the fact that I am there 4 days a week, 9 hours a day. I relish it and treasure it, and I walk it!