One of the rules at Bow Tie Tours is that we try to make each tour unique. After all, the people we are talking to are unique, why shouldn’t the tours be as well? In the last couple weeks I have met all types. Some of them are mildly interested in history, others are full-on self-proclaimed “history nerds.” On one tour, a young girl of thirteen was glued to her cell phone as I talked. I was mildly annoyed but went on with the tour. To my surprise, the girl’s father showed me that she was not playing Angry Birds or texting her friend about how bored she was, but was taking down what I was saying almost verbatim. It was a good lesson about making assumptions about others.
Yesterday, I gave a tour to a guy who teaches English as a second language in China. I asked about the pollution there, and he confirmed that it is atrocious. The worst thing about it, he confided in me, was what it said about the government and their lack of concern over the health of their own people. “I never appreciated our freedom when I lived here,” he said. It took his travels to China and other lands to realize that the freedoms we take for granted are fairly rare.
In Philadelphia, we certainly take advantage of our freedom to complain. We complain about the Phillies, the weather, the Mayor… “You can’t do that in China,” he whispered to me. “I mean, people are disgusted with Mainland China, but nobody talks about it.”
“We’re in Philadelphia,” I told him. “You don’t have to whisper.”
“Oh. Right.” he said. But he was still whispering.