Top Ten Things Not to Do on a City Tour

Top Ten things not to do



The inspiration for this post was thinking about super cities and the possibility of taking tours of them. There are not necessarily guided tours but just touring in general.

10 If you are touring Chicago, do not wear your Yankee baseball cap. If you do, at best people will believe you have just been released from the mental hospital. At worst, the police will arrest you for unlawful assembly.  (The crowd that gathered trying to convince you to burn your cap did get out of hand right, Cnute?)

9 If you are touring New York City, do not hire Tiny the WWF champ as your tour guide. If you do, at best the only tour stop will be Golds Gym. At worst, you and Tiny will get into a principal argument about going to the 100th floor of the Empire State building. (You had no idea Tiny was afraid of heights did you, Colla? Now it doesn’t matter cause you all you are seeing now is the inside of Bellview Hospital Center.)

8 If you are touring San Francisco, do not shut the cell door on Alcatraz Island. If you do, at best you’ll hear no click. At worst, you will have picked the only cell that automatically locks when the door is closed. (The bad news is the guard with the key retired ten years ago. Yelling won’t help, Conell. Maybe the fire department can figure out a way to release you.)

7 If you are touring London, do not try to make the guard at Buckingham Palace smile. If you do, at best someone will ask you to leave. At worst, you are the 100th person to try today, and the guard’s Zoloft dose has just worn off. (So much for your ugly American imitation, Cruz. Now you have to run.)

6 If you are touring Berlin, do not try to cut to the front of a line. If you do, at best you will be politely told about your rudeness. At worst, you may be rewarded with a knuckle sandwich served without mustard. (I know you are used to doing that, Cyril. Here that is a big no-no.)

5 If you are touring Paris, do not walk down the street eating a croissant. If you do, at best you’ll collect a bunch of stares. At worst, passers-by will mistake you for someone who is mentally challenged and call the medics. (That straight jacket is only for your own protection, Cydney. Might as well relax.)

4 If you are touring Rome, do not speak loudly or in other ways draw attention to yourself. If you do, at best the locals will scowl. At worst, the police will mistake you for a Russian spy. (You can guess how this will turn out huh, Christiano?)

3 If you are touring Madrid, do not mention Francisco Franco, the dictator unless you know the people well. If you do, at best you’ll be forced to listen to a three-hour lecture on the evils of his regime. At worst, you might be mistaken for a follower and end up in a duel.(Why didn’t someone warn you, Crey? Well one would have thought you knew enough to avoid politics with people you don’t know.)

2 If you are touring Cairo, do not bring flowers to your host’s dinner. If you do, at best someone may tell you to dispose of them. At worst, the host will think you are offering condolences or wanting to get married which are the only reasons to bring flowers in Egypt. (Looks like you are getting hitched, Conyn since no one has passed away. Good luck.)

1 If you are touring Moscow, do not keep your seat on the bus if an elderly person has to stand. If you do, at best someone will give up their place but glower at you. At worst, you might be helped off the bus two miles before your stop. (You need to pay better attention to the local rules, Coltrane.)


  1. If you’re touring Delhi, don’t think wearing a cowboy hat is cool (regardless of what your dermatologist insists on). The city is home to approaching 20 million Indians! See
    And before anyone gets all righteous and PC, the kids, their teacher and our tour guide thought the concept hilarious.

    1. That is more of a fedora. In Texas that would not qualify as a cowboy hat. Thanks, Keith. You look good.

      1. You’re right, John. It’s (apparently) an authentic Indiana Jones, but it’s probably near enough to carry the storyline.

      2. I guess it would.

  2. I love this, especially the Yankees hat in Chicago. Another winner, John!

    1. Thank you, Jennie.

      1. You’re welcome, John.

  3. Gwen Plano · ·

    Oh, my goodness, so many places to see and so many rules to follow. I think it boils down to the golden rule “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Loved the list, John. 😀

    1. Thank you, Gwen. I think it would pay to read up on what the locals find annoying. 😀

      1. Gwen Plano · ·

        Good point, you are so right. 😀

  4. This is great, John! You’re right about the photo op inside a cell on Alcatraz Island! Happy Monday!

    1. Been there. Thanks, Jill.

  5. I’m staying home, thank you very much! My only rule: bring a bottle of Maker’s Mark when you come! Oh, and don’t step on ‘Lady Gray’, that is, if you can find her…she’s not socialized! I’m not talking about my pet Baboon here – LG is my daughter Cat… Yeah, I know, John, you have Bailey and Lucy, and I had Toby (my beautiful Golden and best pal) until I lost him some years ago,,, Why did you bring on all this ‘poop’ by mentioning the Yankees?

    1. Let it all out, Billy Ray. Ha ha ha.

      1. I tend to do that…even in my ‘passive’ writing…

  6. At least I’m safe from ever wearing a Yankee’s cap.

    1. You never know. Next life maybe.

      1. I’ll be an Angel in the next life. In five to ten for good behavior.

  7. So, is it illegal or odd to eat while walking around Paris?

    1. It is very odd. Parisians feel one should enjoy food and not try to multi task while eating. That’s one of the reasons they like us so much. Thanks, Charles.

      1. I can get behind that. Eating on the run does feel like it’s missing something. It would also give us a little downtime in the day.

      2. So true. Of course in Paris the downtime is like two hours.

      3. Sign me up for that as long as it doesn’t come with nagging.

      4. paris is a zero nag zone. Not sure about here.

      5. Wouldn’t work here. I can attest to that. :/

  8. Ha! One of your best lists, John. I love how Tiny’ personality is developing in these posts.
    I had to chuckle about the cell door on Alcatraz Island. What an “oops moment.” And I think I will have to name a character Coltrane! I’m liking that name. 😀 Have a marvelous Monday. Hug.

    1. It is a good name, Teagan. I remember a musician named Coltrane.

      1. Oh yeah…. that’s right!

  9. Nothing says “tourist” like a pair of Crocs, right, John?? Great list!

    1. Ha ha ha. Nothing says American Tourist like a fanny pack.

  10. Very funny : )

  11. Very funny : )I would love to lounge around Paris, eating croissants a plus.

    1. Wouldn’t that be nice.

  12. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    Another great list that cracked me up! Actually standing in that cell in Alcatraz kind of creeped me out…

    1. I know right? Thanks, Denise.

  13. That picture sure gave me a good laugh, John!

    1. I’m glad. Truth or dare. You have a pair of crocks right?

  14. Great list, John. You covered the entire Continent and made me smile.

  15. Thank goodness, you have saved me from ten faux pas. And I was just planning my world tour, with just those actions in mind. You have never met me but you know me so well.

    1. I am so glad to have saved you from such an embarrassment. I stand to serve anytime. 😀 Also thank you for the visit today. Here have a margarita.

      1. Thank you! I’m at home, so I can slurp, spill, and stir to my heart’s content.

  16. Currently freezing my arse off in Nebraska. I’m willing to gamble a little…. lol

    1. Those outside facilities will do that to you.

      1. Gambling on a faux pas while traveling outside the country, that is..

  17. I’m late to the party, but fortunately not in too much danger. Then again, I usually wear some offensive sports gear when visiting Boston. I wear a Pirates cap in Chicago, but since we haven’t been a threat to the Cubs, I don’t think it matters.

    1. I had my Pirate hat on yesterday. I don’t think anyone here on the island has a clue.

      1. I’m guessing you see a little bit of everything down there. I’m fine with any legitimate fan representing their team. OK, except for a few.

      2. New England fans can keep their team clothes at home

  18. I’m laughing out loud at 7 in the morning. (And that is no easy feat!) Really fun. I’ll add another one: If you are touring Florence and a gypsy tries to pickpocket you – do NOT raise your voice at her to leave you alone. Either the gypsy will ream you up and down – loudly- with language you’re glad you can’t understand, or worse, she’ll convince everyone around that you are harassing HER.

    1. Had the same issue. Little kids surrounding you and no one wants to kick a kid. Thanks, Pamela.

  19. Good morning, John,
    As to #7: you won’t get close enough to a guard at Buckingham Palace anyway, as they’re far away from the public nowadays, just in front of the palace itself. A long time ago I heard that it was necessary to move them there [they had been outside of the fance/gates before] because some people really wanted to see if they didn’t react to anything, by slapping their faces and even stubbing their faces with burning cigarette ends. I don’t know if that is true, though.
    If you really want to get close to guards, you can do that in London at the Horse Guards headquarters or at Windsor Castle. Especially there it’s fun to watch the stony-faced guards even when young ladies pout their arms around their sholuders for a picture.
    Have a great day and stay warm,

    1. Should have said Windsor Castle.

      1. I find it amazing, how still these guys stand. And then, suddenly, start marching like puppets on a string – at exaclty the same second. 😉

      2. They are Brits after all.

      3. Stiff upper lip, eh?!

      4. I would say governor.

  20. Ah! Those guardsmen at Horse Guards… They’re used to being the ‘background’ for selfies, but don’t take to direction for posing too well! 🙂

    1. No. There are a bunch of videos on YouTube showing them putting someone in line.

  21. These are excellent, John.

  22. I’ve worn my Yankees cap in Chitown . . . not pretty.

    And I fear Tiny’s fears more than Tiny fears them, lol.

    As for Number 1, that’s umm . . . Putin it mildly. (Cringe!)

    1. Ha ha ha. Thanks, Marc. I was in a bar in NYC with my SF hat on. A guy sent a message via the bartender, “You live there or do you just like the hat?” I sent a “live there” message back. He bought me a drink. Sweet. Seems he missed his home town.

      1. Nothing wrong with wearing a SF hat. It’s a great town on every count- from sports to food to those amazing cable cars. Haven’t been there since ’93. Are they still doing that?

      2. Yup. Loved the turn around at the Buena Vista Cafe.

      3. I wish I would have had more time there.

      4. I had about ten years. Loved it.

  23. I need to print off this list as a reference when I start my world tour. Great advice, good sir!

    1. I woud tape it to the bulkhead of your Gulfstream 800.

  24. One of your best, John! One should always know the local rules. I am sure you have spotted many obvious tourists in Port A. The photo could easily be one. Stay warm as the freeze heads our way! But it should be back in the 70s by the weekend.

  25. I read this just in time, John, as I’m leaving tomorrow for my tour. 😉 My departure outfit is similar, too. Looks like I’ll blend in perfectly. Oh, and love the one about the cell at Alcatraz, too, since SF is in my backyard. 🙂

    1. Take this list with you and tape it to the bulkhead of your Gulfstream 800. (What? You don’t have a Gulfstream 800?)

      1. Oh, I would, but it’s in the shop right now. I’ll just keep the list folded up in my fanny pack where I know it’ll be safe.

  26. These are common sense and funny at the same time. But I am pretty sure my son won’t take off his Yankees cap for anybody.

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