Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tourist Distraction

I'm someone's tourist attraction.

Among the very odd things that have happened to us here in China, one is being approached by complete strangers who want to take our picture. The first time this happened was when we visited Tiananmen Square. We were standing at a low iron fence outside the building where Mao is entombed when a girl of about sixteen came running up to us. After a few moments of rapid Chinese and hand signals, we figured out that she wanted to take our picture. We dutifully posed in front of the building, with her standing in front of us like we were old friends, while her parents took the picture.

This happened again when we were at Heavenly Lake in the Xinjiang-Uygher Autonomous Region, pictured above. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about being such a novelty. Do the roaming characters in Disneyland get paid for this?


  1. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Hi Cathy,
    I started to drop you a note on Facebook, then remembered your blog here. I can't find the note on Facebook anymore, so either it posted inadvertently or it's lost out in cyberspace. I've enjoyed reading your posts, what a wonderful adventure you are having. Just wanted to say hello, let you know I was thinking of you and wish you and your hubby well.
    Take care and above all else, have fun!
    Kathy Mogen

  2. Anonymous9:47 AM

    LOL....sounds like your cup o tea - fame....:) kidding! love the photo

  3. Debbi McCracken8:57 AM

    So enjoying your comments. We hope all is well.

  4. Found your blog doing a random search. - My husband and I went to China several years ago and the same thing happened to us! My husband at the time had long hair and that apparently made him even more of a tourist attraction!

  5. Hi,
    I was amused by your comment about people always wanting to photograph you. I too discovered the same thing, and it was more prevalent in areas frequented by Chinese tourists (Beijing, The Wall etc). First the look, then the tentative smile, and then many hand gestures incorporating their camera. Part of this became clear to me while wandering on The Great Wall, when a mother and her twenty-something daughter started the inevitable "dance." First the daughter took my picture with the mother, then the mother took it with the daughter. They were delighted and kept pointing to me and calling me Max. I smilingly told them my name was Bob, not Max and they started laughing happily. "No, no, Max - Kahl Max!!!" (Karl Marx). I'm in my late sixties, white hair and beard, and of Russian decent. At least for me, I now understood the pictures were a taste of history for all of my communist photographers.
    Happy New Year! Bob