Our new home of Lagos is a very popular and historic seaside resort. I run my everyday errands in the centre of the Portuguese Age of Discovery. It was home of Henry the Navigator, a shipyard and, at one time, the center of the European slave trade (not a proud moment), Top it all with miles of beautiful beaches. As with any tourist destination we have the usual tacky tourist shops. Most places have versions of them, the owners trying to squeeze a living out of visitors looking for memories of their holiday
Along the way I saw the absolute strangest, out of place souvenir hanging off a display rack. A golden Buddha with a bottle opener coming out of his divinely seated butt. It was in such bad taste it had to be on face book.
I whipped out my every present camera and zoomed in just in time for the owner of the shop to run out shouting “No Pictures!” I didn’t think he was serious and laughed then put my camera up again. He became rabid, fairly frothing at the mouth telling me I had to buy it to take a picture of It.!!!
He was serious, I told him I wasn’t a tourist and I lived here and asked again very nicely, “Please, my friend in the States would love a photo of this, it is really cool”. The female half of the shop owners few out. “NO PICTURES….YOU HAVE TO BUY IT, YOU NEED TO LEAVE!”
The rack was on a public street and the tourist shop trinket people were so silly, heck, they weren’t even Portuguese, they were expats like me. I had to see just how far I could push them, they had to be at their limit, how angry could they get?
One last time I calm explained they needed to calm down and I raised my Lumix to try for a shot. The woman literally threw herself over the rack risking bodily harm, just to stop me from taking a photo of this made in china trinket.
There are now at least two people in Lagos who probably will never be my friends. But, I haven’t given up, that street is on my regular route and my camera will always be ready. It’s personal now…