Category Archives: United States

Lies to tell tourists

This post is about the lies people tell tourists. After visiting 50+ countries, I can certainly appreciate the efforts locals make to help out tourists. I’m always stunned by the kindness and hospitality of random people I meet.

Please do help people in your own city.  Imagine living in New York City’s Hells Kitchen, right near Times Square. You get ambushed with questions the moment you leave your apartment every day. However, there’s no harm in having a little fun with “what if” right?  Thus, what if we had a little fun with our answers?

Time Out London has been soliciting tweets on “cheeky misdirections” for locals to say to visitors, and readers of The Economist have gotten in on it too. I was thinking, we certainly we have a few lies to tell tourists that are worthy of this list!  What are yours?

Below are some of the better ones I’ve read. Some are more sarcastic than others).

Tourist advice from New Yorkers – lies to tell tourists:

  • That “I Heart New York” shirt makes you look like one of us!
  • Swipe your credit card to enter the subway. It doesn’t always work but just keep trying it. This is especially true during rush hour but be persistent. The people in line behind you are just frustrated that machines aren’t working fast enough.
  • Don’t forget to tip your subway train conductor.
  • You can’t have the real New York Experience until you’ve been to Madam Tussaud’s.
  • Yep, that way is uptown. You’ll know you’re going the right way if the street numbers are descending. Crazy I know, it’s the grid system.
  • You’re supposed to hail a cab at a bus stop.
  • The only open cabs are the ones WITHOUT the lights on.
  • Sbarro’s, best NYC Pizza, hands down.

Lies New Yorkers tell tourists

  • The Supreme Court encourages cheering during oral arguments in Washington DC

Also, here’s some fun ones from around the world.

Tourist advice from around the world:

  • In Italy it’s smart to order a cappuccino with your meal; it alerts the waiter that you know what you’re doing. Also, you won’t get the “tourist treatment”
  • Canadians love hockey. To show your solidarity with the locals,  body-check people on the street.
  • When you are in an Australian pub and having a drink with the locals and someone suggests that ‘it’s your shout’, just scream ‘buy me another bloody beer’ at the top of your lungs.

Note: I don’t actually recommend doing this. To clarify, we should act like ambassadors and make visitors feel welcome. Still, these lines are fun. If you’d like to play along, see who can come up with the most witty response.

The list of lies to tell tourists came from lists made by readers (and tweeters) of The Economist, and Gothamist, with photo from Mark Armstrong.

As you travel more and more, you’ll run into your own examples too.

What’s your favorite?  Do you have one of your own?  Leave your best ones in the comment section below.