We love our tourists down here in Miami, if only because they keep a large chunk of our economy running. But like anything we love, they sometimes annoy us.
As the barrage of summer break tourists pours into South Florida this holiday weekend, let's review the things that bother us most about our money-spending visitors, in the hopes we can start getting along just a little better.
Visiting Miami With No Basic Information About Miami
Tourists heading south on South Dixie Highway have asked us at stoplights how to get to South Beach. ("I know the name is kind of misleading, but you should start by actually heading north.") Tourists have also told us they're surprised Miami has such a "Latin influence." And tourists complain about the hot and rainy summer weather. You don't have to buy a guidebook, but at least read the Wikipedia page before you get on your flight.
Asking Everyone Where to Get Cocaine
Miami has a bit of reputation for that pure stuff, but that doesn't mean you should ask every local you meet where to get it within the first five minutes of knowing them. You should at least ask the people who actually seem like they're on cocaine first. Seriously, a lot of us don't know, and even those who do aren't going to jump through hoops to hook you up.
No or Low Tipping
Sometimes they come from countries where tipping isn't customary. Sometimes they realize they're spending way too much and try to cut corners by screwing local service workers. Whatever the case, there's really no excuse.
Photo by Michael E. Miller
The problem with living in a tourist town with an oversexed image is that a lot of people (well, dudes mainly, but not always) head here with the expectation that guaranteed sex is part of the package deal. And when they set their sights on us locals, it's the worst. Some of them think they're being low-key and charming about it like we haven't been through this a million times before. Others get drunk on overpriced bottles and just won't take no for an answer. It's annoying in the best cases and scary in the worst. The entire population of Miami is not sitting around here waiting for people to fly in to service their sexual needs. Like, if you can't get laid in your own town, what makes you think you deserve it in ours?
Judging Miami Completely on Miami Beach
Did you look out the window on the cab drive over? Did you peek out when your plane descended? Did you notice that most of this city is not pastel art deco with bikini babes and nightclubs on every corner? Did you stop to think of that before you made a snide comment about the entirety of Miami? Obviously not.
OK, we don't mean this in all cases, but Miamians will be the first to tell you that Miamians are horrible, crazy drivers and that a lot of our roads don't make as much sense as you think they would. So if you're a tourist who is not prepared for that, maybe it's just best for everyone if you stick to cabs.
Looking Down on Locals
It's sometimes subtle, but it's there. The looks. The stares. The air of annoyance. The offhanded comments. People visit Miami expecting it to be their own personal pleasure palace and not, you know, a major American city filled with millions of people simply trying to live their everyday lives.
We know Miami is not the capital of appropriate dressing. We know not every bar, club, and restaurant cares what you wear. We know you're on vacation. But if you're trying to go anywhere after dark aside from McDonald's, leave the bathing suits, flip-flops, and cargo shorts in your hotel room. This isn't Key West.
Photo by George Martinez
Getting Too Turned Up
No one wants to see some girl from Kansas on vacay with her sorority sisters puke in a Washington Avenue garbage can while holding her Payless pumps in her hand. It's just sad. Sure, this is a party town, but that doesn't mean you'll gain magical abilities to party harder than you usually do once you cross the 305's borders.
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