Travelling In Bali With A Toddler: Dealing With The Japanese Paparazzi

Posted on May 7 2013 - 6:55pm by megganmamma

She’s got him! Now to hold onto him for the Kodak moment.

I remember many years ago when I went backpacking, how all us backpackers would take photographs of the beautiful Asian children. I especially remember the children in Laos. They were always smiling and waving. Sometimes we would ask first before taking those photographs, but most of the time we’d just snap away as if we were at Disneyland.

A couple of weeks ago in Bali, I got to experience it from the other side. I totally didn’t expect it – suddenly my son was the tourist attraction.  All these random strangers, mostly Japanese tourists, would come up to us and start taking his picture.  Sometimes they’d want to pick him up and have their photo taken with him.  It was like being on tour with a tiny Justin Bieber.  I didn’t mind as long as Joshi didn’t seem to mind.  I think he was a bit confused at times. There was no warm up, getting to know him a bit first and all that, just straight in for the Kodak moment.  Some of those tourists went home with pictures of themselves holding a frowning Joshi in their arms, but for the most part he seemed okay with it.

All the attention he attracted on holiday took a tiny bit of adjusting to at first, but for the most part I was totally fine with it.  I have to confess though – there was one time when I wasn’t okay with it.  It was one of those breakfasts when Joshi needed me to take him to the loo.  (‘Elimination Communication on Holiday’ – that’s another blog in itself).  So I whipped him out of the high chair in the hotel restaurant and made my way to the nearest toilet. I managed to get his nappy off and hold him over the adult toilet in time, but when I came out of the loo, there she was – Joshi’s new Japanese admirer – a googling, oogling and really-excited-to-see-Joshi woman.  Joshi didn’t have his nappy back on yet. I was like, ‘Hello! Excuse me!  How about just a little bit of privacy in the toilets?’  Looking back on that moment now I can laugh, but at the time it was really annoying.  What life must be like for celebs – always being chased by the paparazzi.  Glad I’m not famous.

japanese paparazzi

Smile for the paparazzi Joshi!


5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Arati May 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm -

    Good one. Will encourage many parents to travel with baby. Truely I have no guts. I was always stressed that time.

    • megganmamma May 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm -

      Arati, it’s not easy. Some people avoid travelling until their kids are at least 4 years old. We may not have done it if it weren’t for the fact that we were combining a trip where Simon could do the Part 2 Art of Living Course while I spent time with my family who flew in from London and Zimbabwe.

  2. katesurfs May 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm -

    Nice one Meggan! I was just thinking today how I’m glad I’m not famous! You wouldn’t even be able to walk out of your house like a normal person! We have the same asian paparazzi stalkers here too! It usually happens to us when we go to a favourite wildlife sanctuary of ours, although, the tourists are from China mostly. I asked one Chinese woman about it once, she said, because in China (and probably Japan too), many people have no children, or maybe one, so there are not many children around, and then to have a child in a beautiful setting, like a beach or nature scene, is a real treasure to them 🙂 It’s really sweet actually, but yes, can be a little bit confronting sometimes!

    • megganmamma May 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm -

      I was thinking about this again Kate. And I was thinking about how when you love something you just want to capture it. So ultimately one of the main reasons people take pictures of someone is because they want to keep that feeling of love that they had when they were with that person physically. Those kids in Laos – wow – who wouldn’t want to bottle that cuteness!

      • Theek, the Laotian Commotion May 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm -

        I love hearing about your perspective about Laos! 🙂 Every time I see a professional photo set of Laotians, they are always smiling and you can see the joy. We have a joke that Laotians don’t smile for posed pictures and my family surely doesn’t so my husband and I did our own version of the “Lao pose” for a candid wedding photo.