Tonight, just like any other, I was on the bus on the way home from work chatting away to my housemate, Emma, when a young-ish guy dressed in a suit got on. This is nothing out of the ordinary – he smiled at us and then busied himself on his phone (as is the Asian way) and we thought nothing of it.
A little while later, he got off the bus and while he was waiting for his change stood in the doorway and snapped a photo of us.
Now this is not that uncommon here – the area of Jakarta that I like in is not exactly known for being full of westerners and people are often excited to see us. My general rule on this is if people ask for a photo then I don’t mind, but doesn’t snapping on secretly seem like a slight invasion I my privacy? Now I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve taken sneaky pictures before, but since having it regularly happen to me I’ll think twice about it in the future (also, I’m sure I’m always more subtle than some here!). The secret paparazzi act begs the question, what are you going to do with these pictures?? I have been in situations before where someone has asked for a photo with me and then I’ve seen them set it as their profile picture – really?! Surely that’s just wierd?! I’m flattered that you think so much of me but I’m not a celebrity!
I really hope that one day not a million years from now everybody will be used to seeing, and accepting of, every other type of person in the world – just because my skin is a different colour doesn’t make me any better than you, and it doesn’t give you a right to point and stare and photograph me everywhere I go. Treat others as you’d want to be treated yourself, yeah?
In the meantime, I’m off to read ‘Half Caste’ – this whole post has just reminded me of that poem!