Street Smarts

Street Smarts

A little about me: My name is Karen Lott, and I come from a small town in Mississippi called Leakesville where life takes its time and people say "hey ya'll." In short,  coming to DC was definitely a change of pace for me!  My home univeristy is the Mississippi University for Women, a great little college located in Columbus, MS. At the "W" I major in political science and minor in history. Through the encouragement of the staff at MUW, I ended up at TWC for the summer, and I am interning at For Love of Children.  FLOC is a non-profit tutoring organization. While there, I hope to learn more about non-profit leadership and lend a hand wherever it may be needed.  Finally, my first blog post is about traveling in DC because knowing how to get around is definitely the first step to having a good time!


My first travel story:

After I arrived at Union Station after 23 hours on a train, I wondered how I was supposed to get to the Residential and Academic Facility (RAF) with all 1,500 pieces of my luggage intact.  My friend Menuka and I decided to take a cab.  The driver seemed so nice when he asked us where we were from and whether we had been to DC before.  We quickly told him that we were from Missisisppi and that we were eager to learn our way around the city (this is the part of the story where the reader learns a valuable lesson). The cab driver, sensing our naive demeanor, charged us twenty bucks to go four blocks.  We, of course, were clueless -- but we learned our lesson fast.


The moral of the story: Act like you know every street, inlet, outlet, bridge and alley when talking to a cab driver.  Pretend as if you were practically born riding the metro.  This way, he knows he cannot fool you.


Other things I've quickly learned to know about traveling in DC:

1. Do NOT be an "escalefter" -- an obnoxious person who stands on the left side of the escalator thereby blocking traffic flow... How was I supposed to know?

2. The DC Circulator bus is the cheapest way to travel.  It has limited routes but only charges one dollar.

3. Don't be afraid to wear dorky, tourist sandals.  People may judge you, but at least you won't need reconstructive surgery on your feet.

4. If someone under a dark bridge asks you for the time, act like you have been studying karate since you were three. Got it? Good.

5. And finally...traveling in the city is a little intimidating at first, but get the hang of it, and you will never, EVER run out of awesome places to go and cool things to do!




Me, Menuka, and Marlene (from left)


*Me, Menuka, and Marlene at the National Mall -- Yes, it is okay to wear a tourist handbag.


Coming up in my next post... "Networking in Unexpected Places"

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