You always notice the backpack first.
And the constant strapping it tighter.
Then there is the guidebook bulging from the back pocket. Maybe even double barreled back pocket guide books if we’re talking a real tool here.
T-shirt that says Tokyo in the least imaginative way ever. Might as well say Maine, or Fargo, or Des Moines.
Voice situationally unadjusted, three notches too loud.
Organizing a family, in a constant state of flux. Too itinerary bound to enjoy or notice a beautiful day. Must hop from postcard view to postcard view before the day is done. No time for serendipitious meanderings.
“We must visit a bookstore” he mandates.
They find one, probably to rent some Hollywood blockbuster on DVD they’ve already seen, but will use to come up for air in the culture shock they find themselves maladjusted to.
The shirt is tucked in. Of course. And getting more tucked in.
The backpack is getting tightened. He reaches into the fanny pack for cash.
There is a fanny pack, did I mention that? Oh yeah, a fanny pack.
The kid looked flummoxed. This is National Lampoon’s Tokyo Vacation. These are the real world Griswolds. The mom is loving the escape and looks completely divorced from her husband’s plight. The kid is awkward and most likely unaware he is on the other side of the world. A handheld gaming device keeps him in his comfort zone.
It will be good for him later the mom says.
The dad rustles for subway maps. He digs so violently in his pack that his shirt comes untucked a little bit. He retucks and then continues to look for maps. He finds it and unfolds it to its extent. It’s a damn near to scale depiction of the metro lines. There are smaller, cooler looking maps that he constantly forwent in favor of this beauty.
His arms spread fully, assuming full on standard tourist posture. You mean people out there still do this? So baffled by their surroundings that they unknowingly stumble into this stereotype?
Only a man like this doesn’t stumble to this fate. It’s a life pursuit. Being THE tourist is this man’s art.
I mean, the fanny pack? Come on. Could you try any harder than actually donning a fanny pack?
What’s he gonna do next? Pull out a pair of rollerblades and skate off to Tokyo Tower?
You know he owns spandex shorts, blue blockers and probably owns one of those ultimate weed wackers they only show on TV really late at night. The ones that can mow down an entire forest in 15 minutes.
That weed wacker.
Maybe he’s got it folded up in his back pack ready to clear the path through the ‘urban jungle’ he has heard so much about.
Happy trails, traveller.