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The Bellarion

The Bellarion

The Bellarion

Beware of DC Food Trucks

Beware of DC Food Trucks

When our science teacher Mr. McIntyre introduced us to the idea of an all-day fieldtrip down in DC to visit the National Air and Space Museum, one of the details that lured several of my classmates in, including myself – was the idea of what we would be doing after visiting the museum, which led to half of my classmates – including myself – being totally scammed out of twenty bucks. 

This year a few science classes were reintroduced into the Bel Air High School science curriculum, including both Marine Science and more importantly – Astronomy. These are two classes that you can take together as semester classes in Mr. McIntyre’s class. While I had originally signed up for Marine Science, I was added to the latter – second semester Astronomy. What I didn’t expect from these classes was how many field trip opportunities there were. Not only did we get to visit the aquarium during Marine Science, we also have gotten to visit the Planetarium three times – and finally, got to do an all-day fieldtrip to DC to see the National Air and Space Museum. 

The first time I heard an inkling of this idea coming to life was when I was passing by the cafeteria. I spotted Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Redmond sitting in the front of the room talking about a potential field trip, and like the ease dropper I am, heard about McIntyre’s plan to do an “all day field-trip”. We would leave during first period, eat our lunch on the bus, and then hop off – and for the next few hours until just about 3 PM, and – also check out the DC food trucks on the way out. 

However, when we arrived and Mr. McIntyre picked up a map for the museum, we realized that two of the major attractions in the building were under renovation. This cut our time in half, and we ended up leaving the museum earlier than expected – and had a lot more time to wander around DC. 

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Like how pigeons clutter the boardwalk for fries, food trucks flock to museums. Streets with historical landmarks, museums—you’ll see an off-brand food truck right there. There was a group of food trucks probably a block away from the Washington Monument, and one thing we all quickly noticed was that half of these food trucks – despite being prime time for business – were closed. They would shuffle around, closing shops and moving out of their parking spot to move to another spot, and most – besides possibly two food trucks – were not stationed whatsoever. Each truck was made specifically to slide close its window and speed off. 

“I almost hesitate to call them food trucks. That line of food trucks was just one step above a hotdog stand.” McIntyre had almost ordered a cheesesteak. However, just before ordering a man with a red jacket came by and shut down the food truck, “The guy was clearly official – and they knew him – cuz as soon as they saw him, they were like oh no! and closed up.” 

Alas, not everyone was as lucky. I, for example, lost twenty dollars and threw up the following night. 

Looking back, the mistakes made were embarrassing – I just didn’t expect that something as simple as a smoothie I could be scammed on. But, that’s what these trucks do – they close shop, shuffle down the line, reopen and take a few more orders.I hadn’t even realized I was scammed until I finally rejoined with my group and bumped into Faith Jackson and Gianna Leslie, who were both holding drinks they had gotten from the same truck. I asked how it was, and their faces immediately spoiled – they told me how two small drinks were twenty dollars together. 

I stood there for a moment – and then went to check my bank account. Yeah, twenty dollars. 

After the fieldtrip, I made sure to interview Jackson and Leslie about how they felt. Instead of the field trip, we talked food trucks. “Terrible. I’m never trusting food trucks again,” said Jackson, which Leslie added on that they “felt scammed”. Not only that, but both made an example how their twenty dollars could have bought them two happy meals from McDonalds. Instead, the duo was faced with twenty-dollar ice and syrup in a cup. 

It’s not impossible to find a good place to eat in DC. But, to play it safe, I would recommend finding food trucks that are stationed. Maybe it was a poor start, but the hotdogs – and especially cheeseburgers, were really good for a DC food truck. The lady was quick – and she got us all our food in a timely manner. Poor start but satisfying ending.

I don’t regret going on the fieldtrip – even if I didn’t exactly enjoy losing twenty dollars, I gained experience through the moment. Seeing the Air and Space Museum was an opportunity I won’t always have! The museum itself was a great experience. If you take Astronomy, go on the fieldtrip to see the Air and Space Museum. 

The moral of the story – and a cheesy conclusion to this article – is if you’re going on a fieldtrip to DC, be aware of this underground Food truck circuit. If the truck can close its windows and drive of in a matter of seconds, maybe redirect to a stand that deserves your patronage a little more.