Saturday, March 31, 2012

Us and Them

Here's a challenge for you.  Next time you go to town to run errands, take your camera.  Document your trip.  Take pictures of where you shop.  Snap a few photos of other people in the stores.  In the parking lot get photos of them as they get into their cars.  Would that feel weird?

The other day we were in Gelibolu.  We parked in our usual spot and walked to Valide Sultan for lunch.  Afterwards we went to the electronics store (printer ink), the candy store (the children made us) and then to the green grocer.  While we were walking around we saw a group of young Asian tourists pointing and snapping photos.  They seemed so out of place in downtown Gelibolu. They were acting like Gelibolu was Disneyland. I was offended and horrified, because I remember doing exactly the same thing.

I still see things that astound my Canadian brain (There was the man driving his car slowly down the street with the hood covered in layers and layers of socks.  The same day we watched a car whiz by us.  The passenger was holding about  5 -  5L empty plastic water bottles tied together out the window of the car. Just yesterday there was the motorcyclist going the wrong way on the divided highway carrying gasoline in a 5L water container.) These things are still remarkable but now I feel like  snapping photos and pointing out the other worldness of this place is disrespectful to the people who live here. It doesn't help that I've been reading this:   Using your poor kid to teach my rich kid a lesson

So now I don't know who I am. Am I a tourist documenting my vacation or am I a temporary Turk just the same as my neighbours?

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