A missed opportunity on that Mt. Rainier hike back in 2005 made me vow to make a photo of everyone I talk to while traveling. (Mountaineers hiking back down from summiting that morning dressed in blues and reds against a blue sky with white snow… would have been an excellent photo! Sigh.) The people you meet while traveling become part of your trip. They may be along for a day in Pompeii, dinner in Istanbul or just a quick encounter.
Two photos, two stories. Both from Turkey.
I was in Kas exploring some ruins about a block out of town. The ruins included an amphitheater and a tomb, both with a nice view of the water and town. The trail between the two sites was well travelled, well marked and not that far–maybe half a block walk. There were village women as well selling hand woven bracelets and scarves. A couple of women were aggressive and insisted on showing tourists the trail from the amphitheater to the tomb. They would follow you around and not leave you alone. One woman decided she needed to show me the way to the tomb and would not leave me be. She followed me clapping her hands above her head, simulating the shape of other Lycian ruins, while shouting ‘tomb!’ I decided to go along knowing she would charge me when we got there. A three minute walk later we were at the tomb. She wanted 2 lira, we bargained down to 1 and a photo.
The second photo is of me and a gentleman in Goreme. He either worked for or owned a business renting mountain bikes to tourists to ride around the trails of Cappadocia. His main marketing technique was to call out to people passing by to rent a bike. (I see a trend…). I walked passed a few times during my short stay–his business was between my hotel and downtown. Every time I walked by he let me know that I hadn’t rented a bike yet. My last trip past him he started scolding again me for not renting a bike and I ran up to him. I decided we had to have a photo together. He thought that was pretty funny! I think I emailed him a copy, but I don’t remember if the address worked. I never did rent a bike.