I saw it, and now I may just have to move: not one, but a whole family of tourists on U Street. I wasn’t sure at first; I mean, how likely is it that an entire family with no connection to the neighborhood would be on U Street in the middle of the afternoon when even people from Fairfax or Shady Grove are terrified to step foot on U Street? (That’s a subject for another blog entry, and I’m just the man to write it!)
But there they were, mom, dad, and two kids, perusing guide books and plastic-sheathed maps, a-slung with cameras and fanny packs, milling about indecisively in front of Ben’s Chili Bowl. (I assumed they were there to see the “Craddle” tags; those artistes are such a draw. Perhaps DC government should give them a grant.)
I just couldn’t figure it out. I walked past them aggressively, just to let them know whose turf they were on. Their reaction confirmed my suspicion: they were crazy. The mother rattled off some sort of gibberish, which the father, who pretended to understand her, answered with similar guttural, monosyllabic nonsense. Frankly, they scared me a little.
I kept walking. It took me half a block to figure it out: they were German. German! It all made sense now! Germans are everywhere! They’re as bad as the Australians: interested in stuff, like history and culture and food and cities, and just head-strong enough not to listen to anything someone from Reston might tell them about “that” part of the city.
They’re still crazy, though. And it’s still gibberish.