It’s kind of fun watching a tourist struggle with what you find routine. You know the way around your city because it’s your city. You know the best places to go and the best ways to get there. You know how to get around quickly and efficiently. You know how the city flows and you feel like you are a vital part of it. And tourists stick out. You can spot them from a mile away. They don’t know the unwritten rules of your city. They dress weird, they say the wrong things, they get in the way and cause minor obstructions and traffic jams. They are a virus. They are disruptive. But they are also guests in your city, so you should treat them as such.
Watching struggling tourists isn’t an amusement, it’s a test of your true character. You don’t have to be their friend, but you should definitely help them out and offer them advice and tips and try to make them feel a little welcome. A new place can be overwhelming and a few acts of kindness can go a long way. I try to do what I can. If I see a person anxiously studying a map, I’ll ask them where they are trying to go. The other day I saw a kid trying to get onto the subway but couldn’t figure out how to enter the turnstile. As I walked by I told him to how to swipe it, and the brief look of relief on his face was better than any “thank you” he could have muttered.
It’s fun watching a tourist struggle. It’s more fulfilling to help them out. You have to remember that you like to travel, and travellers are essentially glorified tourists. You don’t want to be treated like a tourist. So don’t treat tourists like they are inferior. Because human rights and all that.
Critically Rated at 13/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young