Friday, February 25, 2005

Traveling, with a camera

I love to travel and I love seeing new places. More than seeing, I love photographing new places. And for the longest time, I used to look to travel shows for inspiration for places to visit and things to do. The more you watch them though, the more you realize that if you were to visit any of the places you would lack one one major aspect that all these other people on these other shows had - a camera trailing them.

What happens on these shows ? Lovely lady gets a special meal cooked by the head chef, wines and dines, looks at the camera and tells you that the place is lovely, and is a must see and is a 10/10 for on her I-don't-care-if-it-costs-the-world ratings. Reality check - You will wait in line for about 3 hours to get into the same restraurant, no head chef, just cold pasta. Even more low keys affairs such as the Lonely Planet suffer from the same thing - picture this - a Mongolian shepherd sees Ian Wright trudging, backpacking up a hill, no camera man, nothing. Just last week, the shepherd was almost killed by some loony army soldiers. He sees the man with the large backpack, sees that the man is caucasian, whips out his hawk, whispers to the bird to go straight for Ian's eyes. The hawk, being well trained, safely brings back the eyeballs, and the man has a happy soup. Don't see that much on TV, huh ? Guess why ?

I'll tell you why. Its the camera, stupid. People are fascinated by it. The minute anyone sees a camera, they become someone they are not - meaning, they all start being extra nice and extra polite. Even Mongolian shepherds will call you into their little tent and serve you eyeball soup [sheep this time]. The point is, they ain't going to be that way to you. Unless you have a man following you with a camera. So the trick then is to make sure you have a camera and make sure you walk around saying 'Discovery Channel' and 'National Geographic' in loud, clear tones. That should ensure that you get good treatment in most 'off the beaten track' places you can visit.

Oh and make sure you aren't visiting a culture that thinks cameras are evil, because they capture a part of your soul, or something like that. In which case, just don't visit them. Go to Disneyland instead.


At February 26, 2005 12:25 AM, Blogger Kumari said...

That said, i still think there is quite a bit of fun in roughing it out, with or without a camera man trailing behind...

--Wild me!

At February 26, 2005 1:55 AM, Blogger Vignesh said...

Most definitely, just not the way its shown on TV !

So now its Lady Kumari of the Wild ;)

At February 26, 2005 2:29 AM, Blogger Kumari said...

You are Ubiquitous( is dat the spelling?)
I am in office trying to debug code...but that ain't what yours truly has been doing :)
I check a blog and i either find your comment right after mine or just b4 mine :p:p i immediately follow that link to see if you have put up sth new...hehehe, looks i am the Wild Lady Kumari in the last row now, busy saying HI to one dude ;-)

At February 26, 2005 9:54 AM, Blogger Vignesh said...

Not a chance. Not on a Saturday. I have had no weekends for the last 2 years of my life and I plan to catch up !

Ahhh... you have fathomed from my actions the first lesson in getting your blog noticed :)

At February 27, 2005 8:45 PM, Blogger Kumari said...

Whoa! SO dat's what you cheeky guy were doing is it? Checking out others n making them check u too....aaah!

At February 27, 2005 8:54 PM, Blogger Vignesh said...

Of course, you thought I was checking the others out of the kindness of my heart and my need to read good stuff is it ?!? Yeah right ;)

But yours was special anyways... I come there for the bedtime stories of TweedleBum and TweedleDee.

At February 27, 2005 10:35 PM, Blogger jax said...

i totally agree...the shows on tv or the articles are far different from what you really get to take on it:

At March 07, 2005 5:40 AM, Blogger Angel said...

hmm interesting post.
I still like watching travel shows...especially 'Travelers''s my
'fravourite'(like my niece
So, is it great to read my comments again or WHAT..heehee


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