Friday, August 08, 2008


On my way to work, I go through two distinctly different sections of town with two distinctly different sets of people. Both parts of town are also frequented by a third group of people who are ubiquitous throughout the city. The first set of people are tourists, the second set of people are business folks on their way to work, and the third set of people are homeless people. Here's how you can tell them apart:

Tourists - dressed comfortably in t-shirts and shorts, often wearing cameras around their necks, often with family, often pointing, often speaking a european language, confused at intersections, meander instead of walk in straight lines, sometimes dragging a suitcase on wheels, often carrying several different bags of shopping purchases, often clumped in groups of many people

Business folks on their way to work - dressed in business attire - formal or casual, carrying a briefcase or one over the shoulder bag or purse, usually alone, usually walking at a brisk pace in a straight line, often carrying a cup of coffee in a "to go" cup

Homeless people - usually dressed in soiled clothing, bodies/face/hair are usually visibly dirty and usually quite tanned by the sun, often carrying a sign with a plea for help and/or a cup to collect change, usually stationary - sometimes sitting, sometimes standing, sometimes selling a newspaper called "Street Sheet", sometimes smell of urine

Which group of people is most annoying? Tourists! If I'm in a hurry to get to work or get home and end up behind a group of tourists, I usually have to walk into the street to get around them. They clump together and meander and do whatever possible it seems to make sure it's impossible for me to walk in a brisk straight line and get to work on time. But I don't have all negative feelings for tourists. Every once in a while I like to play the tourist and get lost in a sea of people. I love the city I live in and it's nice to see that others love it, too. Just not on my way to work...

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