Monday, July 14, 2008

On the Red Line

Washington DC is a city of individuals. People come here from all over the world to work or go to school, and when they introduce themselves, you don't see who they are or where they came from, you just see them. While you may meet their significant other, more than likely you'll never meet their siblings, parents, or childhood friends.

That's why its always so interesting when the tourist families come to town. Sure, they're kind of annoying (why would you ride the subway during rush hour? The museums aren't even open yet!), but its also kind of refreshing to see a husband and wife and their pack of kids stand out amongst the sea of business suit-wearing, iPod listening Washingtonians. The kids are always so aware of what's going around them (unlike some of the Washingtonians), and, more importantly, its really fun to see who the kids look like--Mom or Dad.

Riding the subway home today at 9 pm, I came across a family of, I think, 7--mom, dad, 4 boys and 1 girl. My first thought was that all of the kids looked exactly like their dad. My second thought was, how does a family of 7 afford a vacation to Washington DC? But now that I think about it, I've actually seen several large families touring around DC.

Sometimes I do kind of wonder what the tourists think of us: the daily commuters who are either going off to some high-paid job in the private sector or the more casually dressed government workers. One time, I overheard some person tell their companion, "Everyone here is in such a hurry." Well, considering it was rush hour, and people were trying to get to work after dealing with a lousy commute, and we all were in the subway station, this was not a surprise. I bet you're in a hurry when you're going to work, too, buddy! But you're just not on display for all the tourists to gawk at.

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