Thursday, 12 May 2016

Tourist AND Tourist Attraction

Carolyn. All the way through India, the locals - and specifically the domestic tourists viewing the same sites that we were visiting - were fascinated with Cooper.  It's as if he is a famous celebrity, so many people asked to take their photograph with him!  He is not only a tourist, but he is also a tourist attraction.  White skin is considered to be exotic, Cooper is usually the only white kid around, and the Indian people are not shy.  So say "cheese"!!

Sometimes Vern or I were also asked to be part of the photo, but we think they were only being polite - really, they only wanted Cooper.  After the group shots, they almost always asked for another photo with Cooper alone.

The funny thing is, we had to adjust our timing at most sites we would visit (to communicate to a waiting driver).  If we thought we might take half an hour to visit a certain temple, then we also added another 10 minutes for the extra time it would take for Cooper to pose in other people's pictures.  Should take an hour?  Better make that an hour and a quarter.

Great interactions result from this exchange of a few words and smiles on camera, and we almost always feel like we've made new friends - but the extra attention can be overwhelming.  Once or twice Coop said he didn't want to leave the hotel room because he didn't want to be hounded for photos anymore.  Poor little guy.  But honestly, whenever we were out there, he was always happy and willing to participate.

Nothing like this happened in South America or Africa.  Now we are in Vietnam.  The 'Cooper as celebrity tourist attraction' phenomenon has continued a little bit.  But nothing like it was in India.



Click here to see the rest of the pictures from our world trip so far: Trip Photo Album


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