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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Be a thoughtful tourist

I spend a lot of time in one of the world's great cities. Most people here get around on foot, even if it's just to reach the nearest subway station or bus stop. The core of the city is crowded year-round, but this time of year it is doubly crowded because of tourists -- both those native to this country and those visiting.

Life would be better if newbies followed a few simple rules:

  • Don't walk six-abreast on the sidewalk and thereby force everyone moving in the other direction into the street.
  • Don't congregate in large groups at the entrance of a subway station.
  • When queueing for tickets, don't let the queue extend directly into the paths of others. Instead, queue up to the side.
  • When realizing that one isn't going in the right direction, don't freeze in the middle of the sidewalk. Instead, move to the side and then stop to figure out the way.
  • Don't be so focused on your smartphone that you inadvertently collide with people or obstructions.
  • Don't drag multiple pieces of large luggage around with you. That's what taxis are for; they are plentiful here and not too expensive.
By the way, remember that if you visit here in January, there are no queues to be admitted into anything. And contrary to what you've heard, the weather in January really isn't that bad.