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Why are tourists stupid? - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Why are tourists stupid? [Aug. 19th, 2008|10:09 pm]
Arvind Narayanan
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The Space Needle is as iconic of Seattle as the Eiffel Tower is of Paris. Perhaps the most common tourist activity in Seattle is to enjoy the view from the top of the Needle.

Can you even spot the Space Needle?

I was at the top of the Columbia Center earlier today. From up there, the vaunted Space Needle looks like a runt. I mean, you wouldn't notice if it if you weren't looking for it. Obviously, the view from the Columbia Center is much better. Besides, it costs $5 whereas the Space Needle is the "most expensive elevator ride in America." And finally, there is no waiting time at the Columbia Center. It's a regular building, so you just get into a regular elevator.

And yet, there were exactly three people there at the top beside me. I shit you not. The guy at the ticket counter for the observation deck looked positively astonished to see a human. In fact, as I later realized, I could have just walked in without buying a ticket; he would have preferred it since he wouldn't have had to look up from his reading.

All it takes is 5 minutes of googling "Seattle travel" or something like that to learn that the Columbia Center is a much better way to get a view than the Space Needle. And a bunch of other useful facts.

I refuse to believe that people are this stupid in general. And yet, tourists overpay for everything, visit the same crappy overcrowded tourist attaractions, and in general behave like morons incapable of engaging in anything except extreme herd behavior.

Any ideas why?

(Deleted comment)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-23 04:15 am (UTC)

I don't know either

Maybe because the building looks unique?

I found an even better place for viewing downtown Seattle. And it is free (apart from gas money)

Kerry Park. Try that out on a nice sunset with a clear sky. Hopefully Mt Rainier will form a backdrop for downtown Seattle.

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