Those Tourists

4 Jul

Photo credit: Stephen Bay/bayimages.net

I never really get tired of watching tourists, especially tourists to Washington, D.C.

They come with great expectations of what D.C. will be like. The capitol building. The national monument. The Lincoln Memorial. Georgetown. The White House. The National Archives. The Vietnam Memorial. Iwo Jima.

As they pass me by I hear all kinds of quirky soundbites.

THAT’s the White House?! I thought it’d be bigger than that.

So what exactly is the monument FOR?

Always from a tyke: I’m tired of this place; can we go back to the hotel?

They wear Crocs and newly purchased D.C. themed t-shirts. They gawk at the intersections. Cross? Don’t cross? They eat those questionable hot dogs from the Korean vendors–the ones that Channel 7 often profiles during sweeps months–the hot dogs in the murky water with zilch sanitization requirements met. They take pictures in front of historical buildings with their mini digital cameras. The serious ones have digital rebels Nikon 783 thingamajiggies draped on their necks. They rent bicycles and plunder through the crowds as if they just learned to ride. They ask me for directions to the American History museum–the most requested attraction, it seems, aside from the White House. They guzzle water like camels on the hotter days. They buy it severely overpriced at $3.00 a bottle for like 12 measly ounces. Never mind the water fountains nearby. They buy ice cream on a stick from those vending trucks at like $4.00/stick and then walk through the crowds licking them and bumping into other tourists. It’s like texting while driving. Quite ugly. It’s so absorbing to watch people be tourists.

Don’t even mention the cherry blossoms. Please.

And they love festivals. I’m talking amore to the highest burstitude.

Smithsonian Folk Life Festival

Battle of the Barbecue Whoevers

And don’t even mention any triatholons or marches for disease “research.” (Ever wonder why after decades of “research” so many diseases haven’t been–ahem–cured in spite of the MILLIONS pumped into “research”? Oh, that’s another whole blog or book.)

D.C. is one interesting place. I love it here. I love tourists, even when they’re annoying and clueless. I just may become a professional people watcher.

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