html xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' xmlns:expr='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/expr'> Lounging at the Waldorf: American Tourister

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Monday, January 30, 2012

American Tourister

Being a tourist can be a painful thing, particularly in a city.  In the country it's okay because country people instantly know you're not from there.  If you were from there, you'd be distantly related or secretly humping or both.  I'm not insinuating that being a tourist is as awkward as incest.  But it's pretty awkward.

Ah, but to know the side streets.  To know where to stand when the door opens for the train.  To know the shop with the cheapest soy milk, the best steak, the hidden dressing room.  To know for certain the nearest accessible toilet in all neighborhoods at all times.  To have a hook up for drugs you yourself have no interest in taking but keep the number handy in case your friends that haven't grown up yet come for a visit.  This is what gives the city person his assured stride, her pluck and mettle.

Without these things, you're basically useless.

Standing in the train station reading the map for "The T" in Boston, I felt low and confused.  I had the urge to explain to each passerby, "I'm like you!  I'm a city person!  Well, to be clear, as I live in Brooklyn, I'm actually a little cooler than you...but you just can't tell right now."

Luckily this is happened a while ago.  I have grown and can laugh at myself but my god - how tragic that I wanted to explain my place in the perceived pecking order of things!  Of course, if I were sure about my place in this world, I wouldn't feel the need to mention it at all.  And that's why being a tourist can be a painful thing.


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