“No Photo! No Photo!”
We hear it all the time. Anywhere you go in Hong Kong (or Macau) that happens to be selling anything, they never want you taking photos. Some say it’s because the merchandise is mostly all counterfeit. This is likely true, especially in the street markets. Others say it’s more about getting you to BUY something rather than take a photo so you don’t HAVE to buy it… Whatever the reason, it’s a very common thing to hear “Solly, No Photo!” while wandering around town or looking in shops.
What’s NOT so common, is for ME to start saying it to THEM! Them being the Chinese people all around us, everywhere we go. Remember when I promised I would share the good, bad & the ugly on this blog? Well, it occurred to me recently that most of what we’ve shared about our adventures has been the good, or at least the ‘new & interesting’. But not much of the bad, or in this case the ‘highly obnoxious & could definitely live without’ things that go on around us in this new (to us) land.
Back to the photos. On our last trip to Macau (to activate our visas for another year), we were reminded once again about the odd behaviors of tourists from China. The local people here refer to them as ‘Mainlanders’. Which is a true fact, although not meant as a compliment generally. Mainlanders are not recognized by their looks, for they look Chinese like everyone else (except me & T!)… but rather by their behavior, their manners – or lack of, & their crazy insistence on being IN the family photos of random white people they do not know!!! It’s no joke! I think these folks invented the art of “photo bombing”!
All I can say is, more white people need to visit China so that these tourists that venture out on holiday are not AS shocked when they actually see a REAL WHITE PERSON in the flesh! The Hong Kong girls already giggle when T walks by… “hee hee, look, it’s Justin Bieber!”, now every time we are in Macau (a major tourist spot, esp. for Mainlanders) someone tries to bomb our pics! The first time, back in April, I was so shocked I just took the pic & then grabbed my kid (it wasn’t even the ‘whitest’ one) & ran off… However, after this last trip, I can’t decide if I should be proud or dismayed with my own behavior. But after all, it was my pic & my kids, so I actually said it myself this time… “NO PHOTO! NO PHOTO!”
Maybe I’d feel better about the way I handled it if I’d have added a ‘please’ in there? Maybe not. So now you know friends, I’m a simple human, nothing special aside from Christ in me. I have ‘good days’ when I can deal with the pushing, shoving, spitting, line cutting & not understanding half of what people say in English (strong accents don’t help the bad grammar)… even less of what they say in Cantonese & none of what they say in Mandarin…Then I have ‘not so smooth days’ where it all seems to be too much. Things pop in my head like “Don’t push my kid buddy!” – & others make it out of my lips, like “No Photo!” Those are the times I just have to go home & smile… praying that tomorrow will be a better day, that I will walk in the wisdom God freely gives & that I will offer mercy to those around me. Lord knows He’s given much mercy & grace to me!
We are all walking examples to those around us, this photo issue may seem small – but we never know what will touch someone’s life. If a photo of my kids will one day bring someone closer to God (T’s shirt that day happened to say “I hecka ❤ Jesus Christ” & both the younger boys’ shirts are from church events!), I never want to be the thing that stands in the way of that! My prayer is that I will be slow to anger & quick to love on others, especially when it feels hard… usually those people need God’s love most of all… I pray you will love those around you & shine for Jesus in YOUR difficult moments as well! – We love you… Thanks for reading about my humanness, hopefully you & I will remember that to whom much is given, much is also required. Praying for you friends. Please pray for me!
Some ‘not bombed’ pics from Macau.