Friday, June 13, 2008
Tourist attraction at the Summer Palace, Beijing
Even though it had happened five times before, my instinctive response, when two people approach, gesturing with a camera, is that I am suppose to take *their* picture. The next thing I know they're posing with arms loosely around my shoulders. Ha ha. Wanting to be a good cultural ambassador even though I have deep ambivalence about "my" country, I took off my glasses and visor when they mimed me to do so.
Who are these women? Their padded jackets, demeanor, physiognomy and dark tans suggest they traveled long and hard, all the way from some distant province, for their big tourist visit to Beijing. And what do you do on your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Beijing? You bring your digital camera and take a zillion pics of all the exotic sights in Beijing. And yes, one of the exotic things you may get to see in Beijing is a real live Meiguoren (literally, "M" country -- the letter "M" sounds like America), so run and stand by her and get a shot. H got his own snap in as soon as their friend had gotten two off, remarking that I was their prize marlin.