Tourists tourists everywhere (so let's all have a...?)

Posted in: Real life, Work stories

It's a bright sunny day in my little corner of New Zealand. I'm looking out the window on this lovely Saturday morning and up above are blue skies and white fluffy clouds, the Metservice says it's 22.9 degrees Celsius, and my watch is telling me that now is a good time to go fishing (yeah, something to do with setting my longitudinal position and the phases of the moon, don't ask me to go into detail).

The only problem with this picture is that the window I am looking out of is not any of the ones at my apartment, but rather the ones at my work building. Yep, I'm at work today :(

While I'd rather be anywhere but here, I don't hate coming to work on a weekend. On the rare occasion that I do find myself walking to work, it's usually morning when the streets are pretty empty, and when I arrive at the building it's nice and quiet and there's usually nobody else around. I find that the quiet of the weekend and the feeling that this city's population has magically been cut in half help me sort-out my thoughts for a much more productive couple of hours than the busy office environment usually does.

The office may be empty, but today, and for the last couple of days, the streets are anything but.

There are a bunch of big events going on: 2 AC/DC concerts, a Them Crooked Vultures concert, Wellington Cup Day (horse racing, although the focus of such events is never on the horse racing), next week we play host to the Rugby Sevens, and to top it all off, docked at the harbour are some very VERY large cruise ships with LOTS of tourists.

So the streets are packed, it's hella busy outside, and when I walked around during my lunch break the other day my ears honed-in on several foreign accents, mainly American. Accents weren't the only odd thing that day; a massive line coming-out of the Wellington Cable Car was the other:

Line of tourists along Cable Car Lane
I don't think anybody in this line is from around here...

Long lines aren't a very common sight around here. When they do appear, they're usually leading towards an upper-middle-class retail/department store with some sort of epic store-wide sale going on. We don't often get 60 metre lines streaming-out from what is effectively a 7-minute tram ride between the CBD and this city's gardens.

But maybe I'm just being too cynical. Tourists aren't a bad thing - I even enjoyed being one the last time, despite being mistaken for a local and asked which way to the immigration offices - and my lack of enthusiasm towards The Cable Car is probably because for years I used it as one of my methods of transport to/from university, thus relegating one of this city's best attractions to the background of public transport vehicles that help this city function.

Maybe I've just lived here too long.