Why I Like Tourists

The only other word that is pronounced with the same eye rolling, self explaining disgust and dot dot dots besides “Artists!...“  is without a doubt the word: “Tourists!...“

As we spend these last summer weeks in what resembles the mood in a heterosexual relationship in demise: hot-storm-cold, hot-cold-thunder,  tourists do seem to be everywhere. I was sitting outside Prassnik's the other day watching them pass by, returning hostel I guess, after what seemed like a long day. One was in worse shape than the other.

It is sad really how little respect we have of free time and the people who are simply exercising their (probably well) earned right to it; plus are here to spend money earned elsewhere. I hear this is a good thing. I hear this is something this city is looking for.
We cheat, and overcharge them, make them sweat away in stupid tours, box them in hotel rooms with paper walls, make them eat absolute shit, drink watered beer, dress like clowns, bike around yelling idiotic things, and buy fake little pieces of the Wall. I often wonder who makes these stuff up. And as is the case with umbrellas and baby carriages, why haven't we (we humans) done better by now. Who was the first guy who opened an Autobahn Raststäte (these motorway so called restaurant-oasis-market)? Or rather, who was the second? The person who thought THIS is something worth copying...


life little architectural crimes -end of Rosa Luxemburg street

 

I like tourists.

They remind me of free time and of the time or times everything was new and undiscovered in a city. I like them leaning over their little maps in front of my house, I like them reading the inscriptions on the pavement I have never stopped to read. I like witnessing their making the same photo of the Volksbühne, by sun or moon, clouds, rain and sometimes me in it. I like watching them weirdly gesturing in photo poses in front of the Alex tower, holding, pushing, rolling the disco ball...I like their enthusiasm, cheerfulness, and fun-dance-drink readiness; who of us has not enjoyed the odd underage experience in a late late Kaffe Burger night...

I don’t mind them filling the lines in my supermarket with their ONE bottle and one stupid joghourt. In a foreign country we all seek sanctuary in the familiarity of a supermarket, or fast food place, where at least you share this one thing with the locals- the prices. I don’t mind them unstably biking my direction with absolute no control of their rentals. They ride in flocks like funny mutant elephant-pigeons, you can see them from miles away. I don’t mind them biking noisily in the round beer things, when they wave from there or from the boat, I wave back. Enthusiasm should always be encouraged. And when I drive on the pavement, through their crowding in front of their hostel drinking their overpriced beers and watching sports they could just as well have watched at home, I ring my bell loudly. They scatter like loyal sheep and not once have they yelled at me „keine Fahrräder auf dem Bürgersteig!!“ – not once. I do mind the whole flip flop - triple bra stripe dress code and the worn out backpack and huge half empty bottle thing, as if Mitte is some kind of savannah. The only kind of leopards you are going to see are jeggings in Odessa Bar. Which by the way was not “ruined“ by tourists, but a whole different species altogether. But at least they never, NEVER enter our local hangouts. At least not yet. Except of course 8mm bar, where I was charged the „tourist“ beer price the other day: 2,80euro. Dot dot dot.

So yeah, tourists are fine by me.

But let the art people stop posting photos of their feet by the sea in facebook, get back to work and let us get this Kunst Herbst, Berlin Art Week or however it is called this year going. At least then I will stop getting questions like: What do you think of Berlin Art Week? Will it work? Will THEY come?

These kind of tourists are, by the way, wery wery welcome, by everybody.  

 

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