Tenure

From the collection published in 2015, Catch Up With Summer.

Tenure

Vacationers stroll across the street
vague as to where they are going
waving maps to prove it.
Us regular residents
we snort and weave around them
with hard fast tapping steps
swinging briefcases or bags
that have no maps in them
because
this is our town and we know where we are going.

Visitors to the island, 2014: paper dolls, mixed media.

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12 thoughts on “Tenure

  1. Ha ha! Made me smile too, remembering what it was like living in London and to a lesser extent in Paris. Here, the residents stroll around with the same ambling gait as the tourists. But we don’t need maps 🙂

  2. This scene is familiar to me not from PA (because I am still an explorer here rather than a confident resident striding with great purpose) but from all of my years living in Argyll. Every summer we would have to contend with tourists clogging up the streets and roads, which could be a tad frustrating on things like single track roads. In rural places, there aren’t many workarounds if someone has chosen to park in a way that has entirely blocked the road. Trying to live and work in Edinburgh during the hubbub of the international festival each summer was also an ordeal. In neither instance did I resent tourists on an individual basis, it was more that we had to factor in possible delays and complications caused by their presence.

  3. I can’t tell you how many people I told about a good place for lunch with kids when I worked at an office in the historic district in Philadelphia years ago. Every day someone stopped me on the street at lunchtime. I mean it. Every day.

  4. My husband used to talk about the people who packed the commuter trains, once a year, to go downtown to the Phila. flower show in March, people who went on the train…once a year…and so there was confusion and fluster. He hated that week!

  5. Yup. Public transport becomes a nightmare. I was once late for work because of a bus disruption caused by a flock of tourists who had no clue what they were doing or where they were going.

  6. I’ve never had anyone ask for that kind of information, just directions. The people who want to know how to get somewhere always have a map. They even know where they are more or less, just can’t be bothered reading the street signs to find out exactly. It’s usually a monument that you can see from where they’re standing so I just point at it. It’s rare I get any thanks, and often they wander off in the opposite direction anyway, so why take the trouble?

  7. I enjoy helping them, makes me feel knowledgeable! And I love my city, I hope to pass on a little good feeling about it. Call me Pollyanna! But…it may be true.

  8. I get that out of my system with the tourists who ask about my dog. Anyone who smiles at Finbar is usually a sensitive soul. He’s not your average doggy and average doggy lovers don’t generally like him much. I’ve met some lasting friends that way.

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