Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Pilgrim Papparazzi

I've come to recognise the signs from 100m or more. First the subtle glance over the shoulder, then a concealed reach down into rucksack or bumbag, then a slow draw, quick turn and shoot. At first it was flattering, then it got irritating, now it happens so often it's really annoying.

It's not that we mind having our photo taken but more that no-one thinks to ask if we might. It's as if they think they have some right to snap us like some kind of exhibit. They snap away at close range without a smile, a 'foto por favor' or any kind of non-verbal check to see if it is OK. The kids noticed it too, so much so they made a game of trying to spot snappers so we can dodge them or loiter out of range. They even made some 'no fotografia' posters to discourage wanton snapping.

If, as some cultures believe, a photo can steal your soul then we have had our stolen a thousand times over on a journey that is supposed to help save them.