I must love touristy places. I grew up near a big city that attracted tourists from all around the world. It would be cool to go to the fish market downtown and just listen to the dozen or so different languages being spoken at any given moment. I live in a touristy place now too. We get a lot of Floridians around here. We get people from all over but most seem to come from Florida. And for some reason, Floridians seem to be the worst tourists of them all (blanket statement of course, I am sure we have had Floridians visit whom were amazing tourists).
When I refer to being “the worst” it really comes in with the travel aspect. I haven’t met any tourists that were rude (I am sure there have been some!) to people. And traveling, one would assume, is the most important part of being a tourist. I don’t travel around the world. Hell, I barely make it off the eastern seaboard. But I have learned some things about traveling.
1. 10 point turns in a 4 way stop is NOT cool! If you are lost or confused, the last thing in the world you need to be doing is making a 10 point turn in a 4 way to go back the way you came. Not only is it inconsiderate to the rest of us at said 4 way, but you make your state look like the home of the douchebag. Pull off. Take a moment to collect your thoughts. Pull out the GPS/map/phone/wave down a pedestrian and figure out your next move. Want to go back the way you came? Wait until everyone is gone and make a legal U-Turn or use a driveway or parking lot to turn around and go back. You are not King/Queen of your city, thus we don’t have to wait on you to make that 10 point turn in a 4 way.
2. Driving is NOT the time to read a map, fiddle with GPS, or make a phone call. Yea I am anal retentive about people using cell phones while driving. Because it’s tourists that are REALLY stupid about it! Pull off the fucking road and handle the situation. The tourist trap you are trying to find is not going to suddenly blow up from a terrorist attack before you arrive so chill out. And if it did, wouldn’t that be a blessing that you had to pull off and read your map, fiddle with GPS, or make phone call?
3. If you are a passenger in the tourist trap, under no circumstances do you say “OMG WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MONUMENT! QUICK LOOK! Oh you didn’t see it, sucks to be you”. The driver can’t look at the monument unless at a red light or in bumper to bumper traffic so shut the hell up. If you are in my car, you will be punched.
4. If you are driving, DO NOT slow down to 5mph to point at a statue or building or whatever the hell it is you see that is so amazing it caused you to take your foot off the gas and excitedly point out the window almost poking the eye out of your spouse in the passenger seat. That thing will probably be there in the next couple minutes if you take the time to find a place to park and you walk over to it.
5. Pedestrians! There are reasons for crosswalks. Familiarize yourself with them. I realize you might come from a place in which you haven’t seen one, that’s cool! But if you see them and you don’t know what to do, google it. Matter of fact, everyone just click that link and familiarize yourself with a cross walk right now. Go ahead, I can wait.
6. Do not jaywalk. In my old big city I lived in, if you jaywalked and got hit by a car you got a ticket. For jaywalking. It didn’t matter if your leg was on one side of the road and the rest of you on the other. The cop would tell you how idiotic you were being. This is why there are crosswalks. If you don’t know what jaywalking is, google it.
7. In some towns (my current and old included), at the crosswalks are pedestrian lights. Learn them. Use them. In my old town if you got hit by a car because you walked when it told you not to, you got a ticket for jaywalking. Even if you died. This is about YOUR safety!
8. If you choose to jaywalk or cross against a pedestrian light, DO NOT glare at me for correcting my children when they try to emulate you. Yes, what you are doing is illegal. I don’t care if you think it’s “minor”. I am raising my kids to obey traffic laws in order to keep them from having a leg on one side of the road, the body on the other, and a cop lecturing them on jaywalking.
9. If you are driving and you come across a crosswalk with people on it, you must stop. Now is not the time to play chicken. As a side note, my town has a lot of them around the courthouse. If that is an annoyance, find an alternate route. See rule #2.
10. If you have never driven in a circle, do NOT attempt to do so immediately. Pull off and watch others. It’s not hard, really it’s not.
Look. I love my town. I want to share it with everyone in the world. But if you come here with an elitist attitude and expect my 10 min commute to a meeting/work/appointment/school to turn in to an hour commute because you are on vacation, I will flip you off. Or shake my head and call you a dumb ass. Or consider your state a douchebag state and vow never to visit. You are representing wherever you are coming from, make it look so awesome that I am ready to plan a vacation there immediately. Also ask yourself one question, would I want someone coming to my town and making a 10 point turn in a 4 way?