Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Things That Stick In My Craw - Tourists

I know I live in a tourist town. For those that don't understand - we live near the beach in southern Maine and from Memorial Day through Labor Day it's tourist hell here.

My husband grumbles a lot, but most of his clients are tourists with summer places up here, so he tries not to complain too much.

Me, I'm complaining.

Yesterday, I was at the beach with my dog, resting in between runs. A car with Massachusetts plates pulls up. "We were going to ask you where (a certain restaurant) is, but we see it now," one of the four women in the car said.

I laughed and pointed at the restaurant, literally about 20 feet from us.

So, lady, why did you still pull over?

I hate it when I'm in the middle of running with my dog and someone flags me down for directions. I hate to be rude, so I always stop, but it gets me mad. The two of us get into this rhythm when we run and I hate breaking the stride when we get to that point. If I'm walking, it's different. Stop and ask me anything. If you see a person running, leave them alone.

If you realize you passed the road you were supposed to turn on, put on your blinker as you slow down so that you can safely turn around and go the right way. Do NOT do what some jerk did to me yesterday:

I was following my husband in my car to drop his truck off at the dealership for a tuneup and inspection sticker. A green truck with out of state plates in front of him suddenly turns left into a driveway. My husband blissfully continued on. As I drove by, this jerk, without even looking around, steps hard on the gas to back out of this driveway into the other lane and came thisclose to hitting my car. My heart was in my throat as I swerved and almost went up on the sidewalk and into a telephone pole. It happened so fast I didn't have time to hit the horn or yell at the idiot.

He drove off. I got myself back in my lane and caught up with my husband, but my heart was pounding. And I was mad.

Please don't turn around in our driveway. When you pull in, we think you're coming to visit us. There are plenty of public places to turn around in just down the street. And it's a pain if you're in our driveway and we're trying to pull in. One person actually gave me a dirty look as I impatiently waited for them to move out of my driveway.

If you bring your dog with you to our beaches, there are signs up and down that state they are not allowed on the beach from 8 am to 6 pm. This rule is for EVERYONE, not just locals. So, if we can't bring our dogs on the beach, that means you can't, either. I wish the police would ticket the idiots that still do this.

If you do bring your dog on the beach in the time they are allowed there, please keep your dog away from mine. She is on a leash for a reason - huskies love to run and run and run. She likes to play with smaller dogs. Big dogs scare her. So when your lab, retriever or german shepherd comes running up to us off leash, she goes into scared mode and lays down. This is not funny to me, even if you think it's funny. You're supposed to have voice control over your dog if they are off leash. I have yet to see that. Control your dog, folks!

When I travel and end up in a touristy town, I do everything I can to try to not look like a tourist. It's worked so far. I try to go to local places and blend in, sitting at the bar and talking with the locals, or just minding my own business. I've actually had tourists ask me where things were. That makes me chuckle. I do hate it when I see tourists who are loud, obnoxious, and rude. And I see that more often than not. I really hate seeing them when they come to my town. It's almost like they feel that because they are "paying good money" to stay here for a weekend or week, that us locals have to bow down to them and let them cut in line at the store or drive over the speed limit.

Speaking of, cops in my town love to ticket speeders. So year round we always watch our speed, especially on our road, which goes right to the beach. The speed limit starts at 35 mph when you turn on our road, then goes down to 25 mph. I can't tell you how many times I have a tourist behind me giving me the finger or honking their horn, or even passing me (over the solid line) because they think I' going too slow when I'm going maybe 28 mph. I love it when the cops pull someone over in front of my house. Revenge is sweet.

Just remember, folks, when you're on vacation, treat the locals with some respect, please.