Travel & Design Blog - BY YASMIN METZ-JOHNSON

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

When In China Part 2: Two can play that game



During my time in China, I got photographed more times than I can even remember, by complete strangers! I didn’t know them, they didn’t know me. I wonder how many strangers’ social media pages I am appearing on? They thought it was necessary to take pictures of my family, and myself probably because we didn’t look like them (Chinese). To be honest it wasn’t so bad in Guangzhou, as the city seemed to be more culturally diverse than Beijing. However in Beijing it was a bit extreme.

We definitely could have climbed the Great Wall in a shorter time if we were not ‘papped’ during every five steps we took. At least others would ask (I think they were asking? I don’t speak Chinese you see) others were shoving their phones/cameras in your face for ‘selfies’. I seriously could not get my head around it (have these people seriously never seen black people?...In 2015!?). My sister could not stand it, as it was very surreal and by all means intrusive if you want to be left alone to enjoy your holiday. The whole experience tested my patience to be honest. They weren’t malicious at all; I guess they are intrigued by difference. Others may not see it like that, my sister certainly didn't,  but that's how I interpreted their actions. My stepdad and I were able to see the funny side and just played along. Although it did get annoying after a while when you have places to go and random people are stopping you – I’m not even famous!? (Celebrities I officially feel your pain). 

In the end I had my own coping mechanism. I thought I would capture them too in action trying to get a picture of me/us, some people on the sly, and others just incredibly obvious.

 Gotcha!
























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