I'm finding that part of the process of adjusting to city life is trying not to stick out like a sore thumb. It's the little things that draw the distinction between a newbie tourist and a true blue local.
For example, when on any escalator, whether it's on the Metro or in a shopping mall, if you're gonna just stand, make sure you stand on the right hand side. The left lane is for the people who walk up the escalator and believe you me, if you're standing on the left hand side, people will let you know about it.
While riding the Metro rail, if you can find an empty 2-seater, you're expected to sit against the window, leaving the aisle seat available. I didn't really figure that one out til yesterday. I have been sitting in the aisle seat to deter people from sitting next to me, all the while wondering why people were giving me the evils as they walked by.
Never ever call a black man "bro", don't ask me why, just don't.
While riding the Metro, never laugh out loud, snicker or smile when eavesdropping on the conversation in front of you. I did that a few times and found out the hard way that the correct etiquette is to pretend you aren't eavesdropping even though you are.
When exiting the escalator, do not, I repeat, do not slow down to step off because the resulting bottleneck behind you causes people to hit their brakes and bump into one another like a stack of dominoes. I think it's funny when that happens but apparently most people in DC don't find it to be that amusing.
Noone has a sense of humor in this place, I tell ya.
When someone in DC invites you to lunch, don't expect them to pay for it. I can't figure that one out. I floated the idea of the inviter paying for the invitee's lunch to a colleague and he looked at me is if I was stupid.
I was standing behind an old lady on the escalator this morning (on the right hand side of course) and I noticed that she kept looking back at me while gripping her purse. At first I was a little insulted that she thought of me as a purse snatcher (like I could outrun anyone here anyways, most people walk faster than I run) but then I comforted myself with the knowledge that in a predatorial environment like the neighborhood I am currently living in, perhaps it was better to be viewed as a wolf rather than as a sheep. Except of course when a police car rolls by, then I try to look as innocent as possible, which is not an easy task for a 6'1" 280lb Samoan.