We love our tourists, 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 month, 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 with no basic information about South Florida: Tourists heading south on South Dixie Highway in Miami have asked us at stoplights how to get to South Beach ("Actually, you need to go north.") Others have told us they're surprised South Florida has such a "Latin influence." Some complain about the hot and rainy summer weather in Broward. 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: OK, our part of the world may have a reputation for yeyo, but that doesn't mean you should ask every local where to get it within the first five minutes of meeting them. Seriously, a lot of us don't know, and even those who do aren't going to jump through hoops to hook you up.
Tipping low or not at all: 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.
Expecting sex: The problem with living in a tourist region with an oversexed image is that a lot of people 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. The entire population of South Florida is not sitting around here waiting for people to fly in to service their sexual needs.
Driving: OK, we don't mean this in all cases, but South Floridians will be the first to tell you that we are all horrible, crazy drivers. 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: The looks. The stares. The air of annoyance. The offhand comments. People visit South Florida expecting it to be their own personal pleasure palace and not, you know, a major American metro area filled with millions of people simply trying to live their everyday lives.
Underdressing: We know South Florida is not the capital of appropriate dressing. 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.
Getting too turned up: No one wants to see some girl from Kansas on vacay with her sorority sisters puke in a Himmarshee garbage can while holding her Payless pumps in her hands. It's just sad. Sure, this is a party spot, but that doesn't mean you'll gain magical abilities to party harder than you usually do once you cross over the Florida border.