Yesterday I sauntered to the Pike Place Market to grab some spicy chicken teriyaki for lunch and found myself scowling, cursing, and sighing with contempt. It's tourist season in Seattle. Swarms of them, like locusts, have invaded the city and are desperate to see the Space Needle and get a salmon thrown at them and drink real Starbucks coffee. Normally I roll my eyes and walk briskly past the tourists as I head to work or to the grocery store or wherever us Seattle resident-type folk hang out.
But this time I stopped...and realized that in less than a week I will be that dorky tourist asking people when the next ferry to Alcatraz departs and and posing for a picture next to a giant pot of crabs at Fisherman's Wharf. I will be that person who takes just a bit too long to ask for directions on the bus when the rest of the passengers just want to get to work already. No matter how much indie hipster street cred I may want to think I have, the fact is, I'm going to be walking around with my nose buried in my laminated Streetwise San Francisco map for at least the next six months and that makes me (sigh) a big ol' tourist.
So this summer, I'm proposing National Be Gentle With Tourists Season**, if only because many of us will probably find ourselves in that position this summer and could use a little help finding our ways around.
**This post will self destruct in about six months or however long it takes me to get my bearings and start snearing at tourists again like a local.