I love sitting near families of tourists for the metro ride home on summer evenings. They’re exhausted, excited, hot and sweaty, and generally just a little bit lost. They clamber on board in a flurry of noisy conversation and laughter, sweat, shopping bags, and backpacks, and most of them throw themselves onto the nearest available seats, while one stands guard near the system map and peers at it periodically, calling out at each stop, “Three more!” “Two more!” “We’re next!” And they talk noisily about monuments and presidents and where they should go for dinner. It’s so real and all-American and good.

Besides, I love being reminded of family and summer vacations and good times even as I make my weary way home from work. And it’s such a nice break from the usual tired and cranky crowd of commuters I travel with at the end of a long work day.

Thank you, tourists, for keeping D.C. interesting–and human.


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