DC tourists are the best

When I’m trying to exit the Metro station and there’s a barricade of wide-eyed tourists, stepping tentatively on the escalators, bright white sneakers gleaming,  metro maps clenched tightly in right fists,  bra straps straining under faded tank tops– they are annoying.

But then you go to the Mall on a weekday evening in late August, when it’s just rained and the weather’s actually cool for once and there’s a nice breeze and you see an Indian family slowly climbing the steps up the Lincoln Memorial and you hear some beefy, red-faced guys speaking in German. You watch the Chinese tourists grasp the black bars of the gate in front of the White House, you notice the Eritrean woman jockeying for space so she can take photos of her four bored-looking boys who do not yet understand the significance of this moment, but will much later, when their mother is gone and they’re selling the house she worked so hard to own and they’re holding the photograph that she stubbornly insisted on printing even though it was on a phone, frozen for posterity. Read the rest of this entry »