On Looking Like a Tourist

Beatrice Gantzer
January 28, 2014

“Do you think you blend in?” a friend of mine asked excitedly. “If people don’t hear you talk, if you’re just walking along, do you think you look Irish?”

I’m starting to notice how hard my roommates and I try to avoid sticking out as American tourists. Irish girls wear mostly neutral colors? We packed mostly neutral colors. Locals scoff at Temple Bar? Guess I need to not go there, ever. It took three days of walking around Trinity’s gorgeous campus before we finally summoned the nerve to snap a few of the photos we desperately wanted.

In terms of safety, it’s a good idea not to look too clueless. Emotionally, it’s nice to feel like a resident instead of a visitor. But worrying about blending in can mean missing out on some amazing experiences. We’ve been here for all of three weeks; why shouldn’t we have our cameras out and our impressed faces on?

So even though I know my tiny corner of Dublin pretty well and can probably pass as Irish while walking from class to Dunnes, this weekend I’m going to get on a bus with a whole bunch of tourists and head to the west coast. I’m going to take a million photos, listen to the tour guide, and not pretend to be blasé. There are much worse things to look like than an impressed tourist.

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Beatrice Gantzer

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Bea Gantzer, and I am a junior English major at Washington University in St. Louis. I&#39;m a distance runner, baker, and Minnesotan. This will be my first time out of the United States, and I look forward to experiencing a new culture, soaking up Dublin&#39;s rich history, and getting little-kid excited over seeing buildings older than the U.S. itself.</span></p>

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