This is the first country we’ve visited where locals want to have their photos taken with us. In Cambodia 20 years ago that happened all the time but now westerners are a dime a dozen there.
On Inle Lake we’d be taking photos of the local villagers, sailing past in their colourful traditional dress, and at the same time they’d be photographing us!
A few times, groups of young people at temples have asked this of us. It always causes some confusion because at first I assume they want me to photograph them with their phone. Then it transpires that they want us IN the photo and we awkwardly oblige (note fairly obvious point from my previous post that we are not Brangelina).
It feels stupid, and yet you can’t say to the person that it’s stupid, because it’s not stupid to them. Then I wonder… if I saw an eskimo, fully decked out in the furs and the boots, possibly carrying a fish, in the middle of London, would I ask for a selfie? Probably.
I’ve therefore decided to try to feel exotic in these moments, as difficult as that is when my hair is plastered to my head and sweat is running down my tomato-like face. If someone wants a photo of me in that state, who am I to argue? Knock yourself out.