Purpose one: writing a travelogue to describe my various trips.

Purpose two: muse.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tourists Are Like Wild Animals

  1. Unpredictable
  2. Clueless
  3. Mostly dangerous when surprised
One of the bad things about living in a nice area is that other people also think it is nice and come here in droves over the summer vacation.  Every year I suffer through four months of tourist traffic, from early June well into September. 

I do not subscribe to a view that most drivers are worse than me.  My theory is an 80/20 rule in traffic, where most of us suffer at the hands of the fifth or so of the worst drivers.  That said, people not used to two-lane mountain roads drive terribly on them.  I know this is true not just from observing the tourists, but also from friends that come visit.  I frequently hear comments about how the driving is different, how it takes some getting used to, learning curves (no put intended), etc. 

Number 2 above might be construed as an insult to animals; what I mean is that animals are clueless about the activities and motives of the people around them.  So it is with tourists and locals.  I believe this to be true not just in driving situations, but it really stands out on the roads.  The depressing bit is that the sloppy tourist driving is not just a source of slow-downs, but is also dangerous.  Crossing the center line and pulling out without really looking are two of the more common and scary errors I see. 

If you are a tourist and you read this: please, you are welcome to visit, but pay attention when behind the wheel, both in front of and behind you, obey the rules of the road, and if somebody flashes their lights or waves or honks at you, it is time to look for the nearest turnout.

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