The Weekly Peeve

By on April 8, 2009

Almost everyone has been there before: the tourist trying to take in all the new sites in the new country/city/locale. You’re walking around with your chin in the air, gasping, pointing and snapping off as many pictures as your digital camera will allow.

I’m sure you’ve got the gist by now, but there is nothing that infuriates me more. Most notable city for this debacle is none other than New York City.

What really irks me is the blatant disregard for all things and people around you. Most tourists are too busy looking around to care that they happen to be standing in the middle of the road, camera in hand, while the 800 taxi cabs are laying on the horn to get their attention. It’s only a matter of time before they just slam on the gas and hope for the best.

The escalator is another favorite for tourists. They like to turn and point and look and gawk, all while crammed on that little escalator heading up or down. Have you never ridden an escalator before? They’re not that exciting. One side goes up, the other side goes down. What a shocker.

I understand it’s really exciting and fresh to look at all the things you’ve probably heard so much about but are finally seeing in person. But for everyone else’s sake – and your life – just step to the side before snapping that photo.

This all stems from watching a recent episode of “Cash Cab” on the Discovery Channel. I don’t claim to be an expert on New York City’s subway system, but I do know taking a cab across the city isn’t as cost effective as jumping on a train uptown.

I understand you might be a little frightened of the subway system, but if you grab a map and spend a few minutes looking at the map, you’ll probably save a ton of money. Two dollars for the Metro Card as opposed to God-only-knows-what for the taxi cab fee is worth the minutes.

When people get in the cab and the little map flips up on the side, I have no other reaction but to yell at the television.

“What are you crazy?!? Just jump on the subway! 85 blocks to go!? Are you nuts!?”

The best part is how easily touristy people stick out like a sore thumb. You can always tell when they may or may not be from the city or area. The sandals with the black socks while wandering Times Square may be the biggest giveaway in the world.

It’s nice that you’re out and exploring the world, but can you respect the people who are there for other reasons. I respect the fact that you want to soak it all in, but stay out of my way. I’ve got places to go and people to see.

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About Andrew Vazzano

The general manager and publisher of The Quinnipiac Chronicle.