“Tourist, Rincewind decided, meant ‘idiot.”

The rain was unbelievable yesterday morning. In only ninety minutes we received 2 1/4 inches of rain. Roads were flooded, trees knocked down by lightning and thunder rumbled overhead the whole time, sometimes close, sometimes far way. When the storm ended, the humidity was stifling, but I had to do some errands so I left right away. Everyone else had the same idea. The dump was crowded and cars were bumper to bumper on the main roads. I sat in traffic and observed what was happening, none too patiently. I decided it was easy to determine the start of tourist season. The parking lot, the grassy areas on the other side of the road and any available space at the movie theater is filled on a rainy day. Two light cycles is the average waiting time at any red light. People curse you when you’re already on the rotary after you nearly hit their cars when they jump into rotary traffic. It is obvious the rules of a rotary are foreign to many people. Four way stops? Nope, no etiquette there. We all take turns at the stop signs, but not the man from Connecticut. He went right through a few seconds after the car in front of him. After two cars nearly hit him, they honked, and he looked bewildered. Cars on 6A go slowly and the driver and passengers gawk and swivel their heads from one side to the other. They point. Supermarkets run out of carriages. They are strewn all over the parking lot. Beaches fill by ten. Restaurants serving seafood fill by 6. We have learned to eat dinner at 5. Yesterday my last stop was Agway, a joyful spot, a place totally ignored by tourists.

When I got home and brought everything inside, I was sweating from every pore in my body. My shirt was soaked in the back, and my hair was curling from the humidity. I shut the windows and turned on the AC. I took a shower. a barely warm shower. My feet eventually got cold. That was a delight.

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22 Comments on ““Tourist, Rincewind decided, meant ‘idiot.””

  1. sprite Says:

    Here in D.C. our tourists, who presumably have no difficulty understanding the rules of the highway back in their suburban strongholds, cannot grasp that the right side of metro escalators is for standing and the left side for walking, or passing, as it were. It’s as if just because they have no place to be in a hurry that those of us who live here are also similarly time-unrestricted. “Please stand on the right” is my refrain from cherry blossom season through Columbus Day weekend.

    • katry Says:

      We also have subway (the Boston term) escalators and couples believe they should stand side by side so I know exactly what you mean. I suspect many come from subway- less places so your “Please stand on the right” is just what they need. The please is a nice touch.

      Here on the cape you cannot survive with a car at any time so cars are the bane of my existence on rainy days when people are looking for something to do or see. I generally stay inside.

  2. Birgit Says:

    It’s hot! 100°F Texas hot!!!
    This usually isn’t a tourist area but today our 4 day music festival started downtown, one of the biggest free rock-pop festivals in Europe. I really don’t know why bureaucrats decided that it’s the right time to close part of our main highway and a parallel main train connection due to instruction works when the festival takes place. Anyway, I’ll saddle my bike now and hope for some nice concerts.

    • katry Says:

      That is crazy hot. We are holding at 76˚, a slight breeze and 0 humidity. It is a beautiful day though it does get warm in the sun.

      I’m thinking it is far too hot for you to be biking. You best stop frequently to hydrate!

      I hope the music is good after that hot ride.

      • Birgit Says:

        Did I really write “instruction works”? Oops! Can’t even blame autocorrection, must have been my molten brain.
        Downtown first festival stage by bike means ~10 minutes mostly downhill, no heat problem.
        Some nice concerts today, The Toasters (New York Ska band), some others and my personal fun highlight: Botticelli Baby, a local band I hadn’t heard of before: (Older video, festival not on YouTube yet)

      • katry Says:

        I just substituted construction and moved right along.

        Downhill one way means uphill the other-hope you survived.

        I would bike down to listen to Botticelli Baby.

    • olof1 Says:

      and I thought it was hot here when we reached 86 today 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hedley Says:


      Steven Wilson is going to play Bochum

      15-Jan-16 Bochum Jahrhundert Halle Germany
      Address: An der Jahrhunderthalle 1, 44793 Bochum.

      You might want to consider this one. Hand.Cannot.Erase is a spectacular piece of music – could be a fab night out for you


      • Birgit Says:

        Thanks, Hedley, looks interesting. I like the live performances I saw on YouTube. The Jahrhunderthalle, an 113 year old industrial building, is a great concert venue and easy to reach but the concert is quite expensive. I saved link and date and will decide later.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I believe that Connecticut rules for rotaries are the opposite of ours and possibly every other rotary-owning state in the Union as well. Cars coming into the rotary have the right of way. If I think about it a bit, it sounds like a much better system. Then I remember that this is Massachusetts and it won’t matter anyway. 🙂

    You folks got hammered down there yesterday. Later on it was New Hampshire and points north. I had rain. Even some short downpours. I didn’t get any thunder. All the storms went around the little balloon that marks my town on the radar app.

    Today was dental cleaning day. Bleh. My mouth tastes like fluoride no matter what I put in it. That was my only errand for the day and it’s sticking with me. :/

    The weather is beautiful. Sunny, breezy, warm but not humid.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I looked it up and everything I found said to yield to traffic already in the rotary as it would be dangerous for cars to stop in the middle of the rotary with traffic behind them. I found this on the Urban Dictionary,

      There are a few rules to rotaries.
      #1. Traffic already inside the rotary has right of way.
      #2. The outside lane is for taking the first or second exits only. You may not go all the way around the rotary in the outside lane.
      #3. The inside lane may be used for going beyond the first two exits.
      #4. Once inside the rotary, do not stop. Rotaries are designed so that traffic inside the rotary does not have to stop, if you stop, drivers behind you will not be expecting it, causing the risk of a rear-end collision. If you cannot get to your exit, simply drive around the rotary again.

      The Connecticut guy I mentioned went right through a stop sign. I can’t imagine what he’d do on a rotary.

      The rain was unbelievable. Cars had to pull over as there was zero visibility. We even had a tornado watch for a while.

      I didn’t do any driving today. I planned dinner for Saturday, repotted a plant and scrubbed the deck table. I put out my new indoor/outdoor rug, and it looks great.

      The breeze today is a delight.

      Have a great evening!

      • olof1 Says:

        In France it’s the cars going in to the rotaries that has right of way, very odd for us Swedes who actually knows the Swedish rules which are the opposite 🙂

      • katry Says:

        It seems that at some French rotaries those in the rotary have the right of way but not in others. There are arrows which tell you who has the right of way. I find that horribly confusing.

      • Bob Says:

        The Massachusetts rules are the same as in UK where they go in the wrong direction. When I first drove in the UK no one explained the rules to me. They also have a signaling scheme which no one told me about either. The Brits even have mini round abouts in intersections. Another silly idea. No wonder I got so many dirty looks from the other drivers. 🙂

        I hate rotaries, round abouts or traffic circles. We killed them here in Texas in the 1950s. We had a huge one that had several main highways converging and there were accidents there daily. It was replaced with a grade separated overpass. If rotaries are designed to Keep traffic moving, then why would the Brits have traffic lights at the entrance to them?

        No rain today, just warm, 95 and humid. We haven’t reached triple digits yet.

      • katry Says:

        Some rotaries don’t follow that rule. The article I read said to check the arrows just before the rotary to figure direction.

        Many places here with rotaries aren’t likely places for overpasses. They are just regular roads, not highways.

        Common sense should tell drivers that stopping in the rotary could cause major accidents. You can’t just stop in the middle.

  4. olof1 Says:

    86F here today and I know that isn’t hot for You Americans but it sure is for us Swedes 🙂 Then I read that Birgit had 100! It is nice to have as cool summer days as we had today here in Sweden 🙂

    I actually watched the real time lightning map when the thunderstorm just was about to hit You yesterday 🙂 It did look a bit nasty with lightnings hitting all the time.

    We only have tourists here in spring when the cranes come and I just hate it! They don’t know any traffic rules at all and gladely risk their and my life to see a single crane when they just could have driven 100 yards longer so they could see thoud´sands and still not risling any lives!

    But people around here have no idea how to behave in a rotary! They create more chaos than the tourists do to be honest and it happens every day. The police had to post how to signal when eneteriung a roatary and when to leave one too 🙂 I grew up in the twom with most roraties in the country and that is the only traffic rule people in Gothenburg knows 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      It is hot for this America. It really comes down to where you live. Here on the cape, surrounded by the ocean, we rarely get as hot as 86˚. It is only in August when we usually have temperatures in the low 80’s.

      The weather was horribly nasty. Streets were flooded including the one my street is off of-there is a small dip in the road, and it was flooded as was part of the street.

      The tourists will be here in full force until September then mostly on weekends through the middle of October. Traffic is horrible. I go all back ways even if it takes longer.

      Massachusetts has almost more rotaries than other places so people have no idea how to drive on them. What was funny was when I was in Ghana and traffic travelled on the left so I had to go the opposite way on the roundabout (as the Ghanaians call them like the British). Now Ghana drives on the right.

      All people have to do is use their common sense. Traffic driving in a circle together would be an accident waiting to happen if one of them stopped. No one would expect the stop and cars would rear-end each other.

    • Bob Says:

      Good to hear that in Europe, where round abouts are everywhere, your drivers are just as crazy as they are here.

      Dallas Texas is on the same latitude as the Sahara desert. New York City is on the same latitude as Madrid. You guys in Sweden are up near the artic circle. London is warmed by the Gulf Stream which brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico across the North Atlantic. London is further north than Montreal but has much warmer weather.

      • katry Says:

        Luckily Texas gets more rainfall than the Sahara. Ghana is just above the equator and northern Ghana has weather affected buy the desert, including many days above 100˚ and blowing sands. Ugly weather!

      • olof1 Says:

        Hi Bob!

        We too get it warmer here because of the gulf stream, otherwise we would have winters like they have in Alaska 🙂 I really can’t understand why people get so confused in round abouts 🙂

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