DC locals walk around ignoring everything that could distract us from our present goal. We have our earphones in and our cellphones out, creating an invisible wall between ourselves and others. Tourists, on the other hand, are amazed at every sight, sound, and smell. They pause to enjoy their surroundings and explore the areas that many locals avoid.
Visitors often get a bad rep because they don’t always follow the norms and cultures of the city they are visiting. The truth is that oftentimes, locals can learn a lot from tourists.
Here are five reasons why it’s good to be a tourist in DC:
Tourists Admire the Beauty Of The City:
During the summer, when sightseers are admiring the oldest Presidential monument in the District, locals are playing softball on the National Mall. The only time, we look at the Washington Memorial, is if the ball flies in that direction. Abraham Lincoln stares across the Reflecting Pool from his monument seat and thanks his lucky stars for tourists. At least they appreciate the beautiful history around them since residents are too busy with their sports to notice.
Tourists Take Advantage Of The Free Attractions:
Free attractions offset DC’s high cost of living. Unfortunately, natives don’t take advantage of the eleven museums along the National Mall. Visitors flock to these national treasures while locals scurry below ground to be whisked away to someplace less crowded.
In a city with unlimited things to see, do and experience, our favorite pastime is Happy Hour.
Tourists Appreciate the Metro System:
The DC Metro is one of the cleanest and easiest subway systems to navigate, yet residents have a hard time enjoying this. With recent price increases, delays, and escalator outages, we grumble from stop-to-stop.
Not tourists. They are chatting about their visit to the nation’s capital and discussing the day’s plans. Watch nearby locals carefully for a synchronized display of inserting earphones.
Tourists Sample The Varied Cuisine:
Every weekend, DC’s Chinatown bars are stuffed full of natives eating burgers and fries. Luckily for the Asian eateries lining the block, our guests understand what they should eat in Chinatown.
Vacationers seize the opportunity to sample meals prepared by the first and second-generation Asian Chefs. Options aren’t limited to Chinese. Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese cuisine also satisfy the taste buds of DC’s visitors.
Tourists Get Excited About Presidential Motorcades:
There are few places where our President routinely zooms past sandwiched between a set of weaponized trucks. As locals grumble about yet another traffic stop, tourists crane their necks to see who’s riding past in a parade worthy line of black vehicles. They ooh and aah with cameras ready showing a certain level of respect for the political office. Tourists get a buzz from seeing public figures, and their excitement is contagious.
When it comes to D.C. being a tourist is a label to be worn proudly.
So what if they block the escalators, sidewalks and train doors? Who cares if they slow us down on the way to work and then again on the way home? The old saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” With 18 million tourists visiting yearly, it’s time that DC residents put good advice to use.
Photo Credit: ©MyFoxDC