Here they come…

Photo courtesy of
‘sidewalk hazards’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99’

Love them, hate them, want to plow over them in the Metro, whatever your feeling is about tourists, I know one thing: HERE THEY COME! It’s about spring break time, and the cherry blossoms are about to burst into color, and we all know what happens to the city’s floodgates in spring. I hate to be the one to report it, but the influx of bumbley-directionally-challenged-overly-friendly-standing-on-the-left-side masses into our dear city has begun.

Metro Center has been noticeably more crowded, especially with the dreaded high school tour group clogging the platform and escalators.  I hate accidentally walking straight into someone holding a map just because they randomly came to a halt in the middle of the sidewalk. I loathe trying to navigate around middle school students holding hands three across on the Metro platform. Don’t get me wrong, I love my city, and I’m happy to share it, but at this rate, we’re in for a long summer.

So I ask you – what are your tourist pet peeves, and where have you spotted the greatest number of them?

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

9 thoughts on “Here they come…

  1. The stopping in untenable places: At the end of an escalator, RIGHT inside the train doors, and all those other ridiculous choke points where your job is to GTFO of other people’s way as quickly as possible so they can get on the train or off the escalator too.

  2. Every single day this week, I have been on the same Orange Line metro car as a screaming baby in a family of tourists. I’m not saying it’s completely the fault of the family as babies do tend to cry, but after a long day of work, it’s pretty grating on the ears. My ipod headphones can only block so much.

    Also, tourists who stand directly in front of the doors when trains come during rush hour. Are people exiting the train supposed to walk through you?

  3. Yesterday during my walkabout in town, I got flooded with a bazillion kids outside and inside the National Air and Space Museum. Granted, it’s the most popular museum for school tours, but wow I wasn’t ready for the level of crowded, noisy, rude kids that overran the place yesterday.

    And no one pays attention to if you’re taking a photo or not. Ugh.

  4. Ahh come on guys. EVERYONE is a tourist at some point. They are also creating jobs and pouring money into the local economy. No complaints here, despite the occasional annnoyance. Be friendly and go out of your way to be nice to them, because wouldn’t you like people to welcome you when you are a tourist in other places?

  5. I don’t know that its a ‘tourist’ thing only really, but for me its people who have no control over their kids. Look, I like kids, really- but when they’re running around playing tag in the Metro car, shouting and screaming and (eventually) crying, perhaps thats the point when you tell your kids to sit down or something?

    The group I dealt with last week even had a woman tell them one of their kids might get hurt if they’re running around like that- sure enough, we pulled into Virginia Square, the train stopped, and one of the kids went right into the bulkhead next to the door and started bawling. His mother didn’t even look up from her cell phone.

  6. Oh, agreed S. I am nice as possible on the outside (I actually give correct directions, unlike some people I know…), but inside I’m like everyone else and seething with annoyance.

    Besides, tourists provide great “overheard in DC” content. :)

  7. S: Yes, I would like to be welcome when I am a tourist. But when I am a guest in a city that is not my own, I make it a point to not block the choke points on that city’s mass transit systems or otherwise make a nuisance of myself, any more than I would make a nuisance of myself in someone else’s home.

  8. I agree with Tiff, I’m all about being a tourist in any city (even my own, hence all our Tourism posts) but that never makes it right for me to act like I have no sense. They key to traveling? Reading signs!

  9. Hmmm there are so many, but I agree the biggest annoyance is randomly stopping anywhere and everywhere. Also breaking every single metro rule there is including the awful pole hogging/hugging. You do not own that pole so please remove your body from it and share.

    I always appreciate the very rare tourist who you can tell they have observed the customs of metro rush hour and do their best to follow suit or at least stay out of the way.