Thursday, May 28, 2009

snappish

I have internet in our jungle house now.  It took all this time and acts of equal parts contrition and might but here I am, catching up with you.  It's slow here, not quite dial up but not quite right, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. And after all this time I've decided I don't need it as much as I once thought I did.

My friends down the road run a guest lodge and I am there sometimes either visiting or watching our collective kids run wild.  They also have easy access to the river and when it's as hot as it's been lately I take M up there to go for a cool off swim.  In case you are curious we also have cool off showers and cool off under the net experiences as well.  We actually call these things that.  So our big dumb puppy follows us the other day which means all three of us are in the river cooling off when some of the tourist folk staying at the lodge wander down for a swim. So we do our swimming thing and they laugh about our silly dog and my silly kid and we don't really talk much and life goes on as normal.  

So the next day I am at the market in town buying a few things for dinner when I hear someone calling my name. I look around and it's those tourists from the day before in the back of a taxi, they are calling my name and one of them takes out her camera and actually takes pictures of me while I am hauling my sweaty ass into our car with a few grocery bags like we are all buddies hanging out on an adventure. I mean, I guess in the philosophical sense we ARE all just buddies hanging out on an adventure. But I digress.

I know this is a touristed area, folks come here to experience the jungle, hell it's how we found this place ourselves.  But now that I live here and am not on vacation it feels different.  This is my real life here and my real life entails buying groceries at a shitty market down the road before driving home and cooking dinner on a shitty stove. I mean, there are good things too about being here but I'm just summing some of the less than good ones up for you here, and for some reason it struck me as odd that people I do not know would want to take pictures of something so mundane and for some reason I was now unwittingly part of their vacation experience, with them meeting weird local folk with weird local dogs and kids doing weird local type things.  With pictures. 

Or maybe I'm just being too sensitive.  

PS. If YOU came here to visit me you can take all the pictures you want.  That's different. See how that's different?

PPS. Maybe I'm the one with the problem.  

PPPS. I need to shut up already don't I?

PPPPS. We were sound asleep when the earthquake hit. It went on for quite a while in a house and a village and a country not built for such things.  Aside from a few broken things we are fine and so are our neighbors.  We'll learn more as the day goes on.  Scared me, though. This was by far the hardest one I've ever felt and I'm from California.



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25 comments:

Kyla said...

I like that you tell us about the less than good, too.

I'm sooo glad you are all okay, though a bit shaken, literally and figuratively.

Gina said...

I'm glad you're OK - you were the first thing I thought of this morning when I heard about the earthquake.

Love, Evolution, and Resilience said...

I'm really glad you are ok. I'm glad you share so openly. And I totally get that taking pictures is just ridiculous in the sense in which you've described, but who knows, maybe you'll make it to someone else's blog with a big caption that reads... 'Civilized Bush Women'. See, 'cause if that happens I'm gonna have to lie and tell everyone we're friends! Much Love...

de said...

jen, they probably thought you were so cool and interesting and worth remembering. You touched their lives and they did not intend for their actions to be crass.

I'm relieved to know you are OK after the earthquake. Terrifying.

Magpie said...

Earthquake?!?

And they were taking your picture because you are the most gorgeous & glamorous woman on the planet.

TZT said...

I went to Santorini for my stepbrother's wedding a few years back, and after all of the pomp and circumstance and bride-abducting donkey riding, several of us were standing at a scenic overlook with photographers, getting the standard family shots.

At some point, two Australian dudes crashed the scene and flanked the bride and groom, while their buddy took a picture. A few minutes later, it happened again with another group.

I wondered on that trip whether Australians were the real "ugly American" tourists, although when I was in Mexico, I think I thought the same thing about some Germans I ran into at Uxmal. Not sure what it is that makes so many tourists, wherever they are from, treat local people as though they were an obelisk.

At any rate, I'm glad you're safe.

Jenn said...

I'm sure they wanted your picture because you were by far the most beautiful thing they'd seen in the jungle; maybe they have hopes of selling your likeness and you being discovered and them being your agent.

Things are always so different from the outside looking in; you know that though, don't you?

I wish that your life were exactly as you'd pictured it when you were a tourist, making plans.

But knowing you, I am certain that you'll find all the beauty and love and peace that you need.

Thinking of you often, especially when it's hot and muggy and now when those little yellow blips run across cnn with earthquake announcements.

Much love Jen.

meno said...

Of course i see how it's different.

Earthquake? I didn't even hear about it yet. I'm glad you are okay.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I live in a touristy ski town. The locals call tourists "tourons." (Rhymes with "morons.") Not all tourists are tourons -- just the ones like you described.

Kim said...

Earthquake? WOW!

You never know, you may end up on someone's blog.

Janet said...

If I came to visit you I would probably forget my camera. It's what I do.

Glad the earthquake didn't do significant damage.

Brooke said...

Yeah, it's totally different. It would be like you taking pictures of random tourists. Because, well, why?

Glad to hear you're all okay, but didn't hear anything about the earthquake. Yikes.

Amber said...

I don't think it's OK in general to take photos of people without asking first. It shouldn't matter if you're on vacation. In fact, especially if you're on vacation you should be sensitive.

And I'm very sorry to hear about the earthquake. I'm glad you're OK.

krista said...

maybe they were friends with the woman from dodger stadium and just wanted to keep tabs on you.

KC said...

what magpie said.

glad no one was hurt. xo

Omaha Mama said...

It's probably what keeps all of your readers coming back. You are a one-woman tourist attraction.
;0)
Your life is a mystery and I love to come here and read about it. But I'm not so sure that I could be so brave as to live it.

mamatulip said...

I can just imagine how different it is now that you're not the tourist. And I can understand that you'd feel snappish.

I'm glad you're all safe - how scary. I've never experienced a real earthquake, and I'm okay with that.

Jessica said...

Glad you're ok. Wondered how far in you could feel it.

alejna said...

I'm glad I read this before I read the news about the earthquake. You saved me some worrying. I'm glad you guys are OK.

Odd about the picture-taking. It does sound rather invasive. Of course, it could well be that they fell in love with you, and wanted a memento. Probably better that they went for a snapshot than a lock of your hair.

joker the lurcher said...

i'm someone who takes pictures of everything that moves (or doesn't move) but i would never take a photo of someone's kid without their express permission. its just not how you go on.

i think there is a wider issue about tourism here too - i wouldn't take pictures of local people when i was on holiday except in a very surupticious way so they weren't aware of it. and then that leads to a whole other ethical thing...

flutter said...

I am pretty sure I love you, you know?

maggie, dammit said...

SO glad you're okay, love.

Z said...

When I'm on holiday in a country with a very different culture from mine, I would love to take pictures of ordinary people doing ordinary things, and their ordinary houses which are so different from mine - after all, you can buy postcards of the scenery and the sights. But it feels that it would look like an intrusion, though I don't mean it to be, so I don't.

Madge said...

for my job i sometimes end up in parts of the world like yours with people from the states that have never been in parts of the world like yours and i get really really annoyed when they start snapping pictures of the people that actually live there like they are at the zoo or something like they can't get their head around the fact that for those people it is life. every day life and maybe they don't want to be on display

painted maypole said...

glad you are OK