Friday, July 16, 2010

Back-Up Plan: Be A Tour Guide

I used to be a tour guide for the Office of Admission at MHC.  In fact, I was a tour guide for three out of the four years I was at Mount Holyoke - I walked backwards in heels (back in the day when tour guides wore heels - I saw someone giving a tour in flip-flops once and almost had a heart attack), made grand gestures with my hands, described the significance of the library's stained glass in hushed whispers and patiently answered questions from overprotective parents in statistical-speak.  I loved it.  And I thought I did a pretty good job of making people want to go to MHC (what, with my bouncy hair and shouty voice). 

Nowadays, my tour guide instincts sometimes kick in when I pass tourists in London (though I keep them to myself, otherwise, that would be obnoxious).  "Here we are, London Bridge!" says an American woman to her husband.  'Err ... no,' I want to say.  'You're actually on Tower Bridge.  London Bridge is that boring one over there.'  I always have the urge to stop someone holding a map, looking confused.  "Can I help you find something?" I want to say, with a bright smile.  But it's not my place.  And I refrain.  Unless I'm approached by someone.  Then I love to help.  Once, when my mom was over, we were ambushed by a small group of Americans and Canadians, looking for some "local" restaurants around Maida Vale.  I swiftly took out a notebook, wrote down my list of the top 5 and their addresses.  Enthusiastic?  Yes, I am. 

So if I could, I'd love to provide a guided tour (for a small fee, of course - I gotta pay for my cupcakes, you know) to Americans, specifically, of central London.  Because I feel like as an American, you find different things interesting (like, where's the nearest cupcake shop) and you tend to want to compare and contrast London to your own familiar big cities (like English versus American cupcakes).  That's my back up plan.  Not sure how to get started, but I'd love to.


  1. I would take your tour! And I understand your enthusiasm for providing helpful information. I get approached ALL the time for directions in NYC - I think strangers find me non-threatening. Admittedly, I often give more information than they're actually asking for.

  2. Thanks, M! If I was lost in NYC, I'd ask you for directions too ... :)


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