This is my journey as I return to school and work in a profession I once dabbled in as a means for funding an after college 7 year long ski trip...not as a viable career choice. I hope I entertain, enlighten and learn something from any readers I may attract.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Leave your money and get out

Ahhh summer. Americans love summer. I think it goes back to when we were kids... the freedom of no school, no alarm clock, and no worries. There is something about this time of year that makes people travel. Not just those with children, but also regular folks who can leave it all behind at any time. In my corner of the world, tourism is a leading industry. People love to come and invade my city and drop insane amounts of money. I appreciate that, I really do. Without tourists, I believe our restaurant and cultural scenes would not be as stellar. I get it. The tourist dollars do lots of good things to our economy, and more than a few of my friends directly benefit from tourism. I am not knocking tourists but they are starting to make me a bit batty. They forget to pack common sense when preparing for vacay. I have come up with a few guidelines that will make you much more welcome when your grace our fair city.

  • Remember not everyone is on vacation time. It seems simple but people forget that they are in a living city with actual residents with real lives. I have had to step off of sidewalks more than once into traffic to get around families who really believe a narrow sidewalk is the ideal place to debate their next must-see. Get the hell out the way, or a least give me room to walk. I am not a "large" person, but I can't get through!
  • Driving. If you cannot afford a guided tour, do not come. I am glad you like looking at historic houses, but driving all of 5 MPH with 10 cars behind you that are incapable of passing you really sets off tempers. If you need to spend time taking in sights, pay a professional. They will shuttle you around town with minimal impact to locals, and tell you about why what you are seeing is worth seeing. Also if for some reason you do not understand "one way" "do not enter" or "turn lane only" don't drive. Hint: if all the parked cars are facing you with their headlights, it is probably a one way street. This means don't turn there. I have had more near misses with people going the wrong way than I can count. It scares the hell out of me.One way is determined by local city planners not you.I don't care about the traffic laws in your town, you are here. And as stated before, there are real people with real lives who live here and need to get around.
  • Complaining. Unless you are from somewhere quite unique, it probably rains where you live, too.My state is under drought warnings. We need the rain for our agrarian brethren.When you bitch about the rain, I laugh. I lived in MT for several years, near Yellowstone, and I had a man read a pal the riot act when she refused to let his 10 year old son buy a lighter as fires raged all around and the threat of evacuation was looming, even affecting some members of the community forced to leave their homes. For shit's sake, you are somewhere with real people with real lives.(mantra) If the area you visit has conditions you don't understand, don't go. Do your homework! If you visit my town in the summer, it will be hot, and we will have showers. Just like where you live. Duh!
  • I don't care how you do it at home. You are here now. If you don't like how we do it, stay home or go somewhere that jibes better with you expectations.
  • This one is HUGE! Please for the love of sweet baby Jesus, keep your children in check! Nasty children with sticky fingers spinning in the middle of a store, sidewalk or near the front door of where I want to eat really pisses me off. Yes, I do want you to have great memories but this is not a vacation from humanity. Keep an eye on those rugrats and remember people don't dig unruly children. And when your kid runs in to traffic because you are not watching them, it is not the driver's fault. Funny, another one of those just like at home things.....
  • Tipping. No Rachel Ray, exactly 15% is cheap! Just like the tours, if you cannot afford to tip your server, tour guide, concierge, bartender, or housekeeper DO NOT come. You will have a better time if you treat the locals right. We do these jobs to pay the bills, and rent ain't cheap.... Also you might get insider info not for the cheap that could make your stay even better.Hmmmm.... you wouldn't stiff your server at the Appleees you take the famdamily to every Friday at 6 on the dot. Oh wait, you probably do.
  • Get your facts straight. How many people believe the market downtown sold slaves? It didn't. It is not the "Slave Market" It is the Market, dumbass. Chicken, shrimp, veggies, now tourist slaves.Again, shell out the bucks to get the facts straight or keep your uninformed mouth shut.
  • Lastly, dress appropriately. A 50 year old pale overweight male Ohioan has no business wearing a speedo. Look around, if an in shape 23 year old local won't sport it, neither should you. When in Rome..... wear a speedo. I hear Europeans dig them, we, however, do not.

This rant really could go on for a few more hours. I just needed to target some of the common sense things people don't realize. I will close by saying that we do want you to come. We just expect you to act like you have some sense. Remember the mantra. A real city with real residents with real lives.

1 comment:

ArtfulSub said...

Looks familiar. We have a "shoulder season" here that I like to call the "Euro-Trash" months. It makes us appreciate the regular Winter tourist season that is mainly Yankees and Euros with SOME class.

I once through a full ice-cooler on of those speedo-wearing smelly cheapskate metrosexual punks.

The crowd cheeered.