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.