Public Service Announcement: Guidelines for Tourists
Tourists are a large component of day-to-day life in Washington, DC. The bulk invade the city in April for the Cherry Blossom Festival. Another contingency arrives in July for the Independence Day festivities. But each and every day, visitors arrive and depart, and gawk at the White House, the Capitol, the monuments and memorials, and other historic buildings and national parks.
In order to ensure your survival in the big, bad city, heed these universal laws (universal because most of these laws apply to other American cities):
1. Public transportation is a good thing. It might even be your first time riding a subway. When standing on the platform, waiting for the next Metro train, stand away from the door. You must provide space for passengers on the train to exit before you may step on. If you trap them inside, they will shove you aside.
2. Groups and couples congregate on the escalators to chat about their latest adventures. Wait to form your huddles at the top of the escalators. City folk are always in a hurry. Please stand to the right to provide space for these urbanites to climb on the left side. If you don’t stand single file on the right side an interesting transformation will occur. The city person will sigh loudly followed by the eye-roll. Then said person may loudly say “excuse me” while trying to get you out of their way. Again, if the path is blocked, some people will resort to using force.
3. Do not drive in unfamiliar cities. Park your car and walk. Driving head on into traffic down a one-way street is hazardous to your health (but entertaining to onlookers).
4. Group leaders should leave the brightly colored umbrellas at home. And your matching t-shirts…. they scream “Mug Me” to the natives. Be warned.
5. Invest in a map. Cityfolk have a quirky sense of humor. When you interrupt them to ask where the White House is, they’ll often send you off in the opposite direction. Get a map!
And that’s about it.
Did I miss any helpful rule distinctive to your city or tourist trap town? If so, feel free to leave them here.