Fun With Tourist
We were walking through the main market in Yogya when a few university students came up to us and asked if we would come talk to their class. We were a little apprehensive but we decided to go along with it. They were really excited that we had agreed to come talk to them. It turns out that they were with 30 or so students studying to be midwives and this was part of their English class. We walked with them to a little plaza where their classmates were waiting for us. That’s when we saw what their assignment was. On a sheet of paper in bold writing at the top it said “Fun with Tourist.”
Judging by their visible glee at having us there, they really were having fun. They started politely asking us questions like: What is your name? Where are you from? How do you like Yogya? Do you know what a midwife is? and so on. Then having completed their assignment they decided it was time for photos. Being asked to have your picture taken by some random person walking down the street is fairly common. In fact I think we had our pictures taken almost daily in Yogya whether we wanted them taken or not. Usually people will take a picture from a distance but sometimes people want to be in a picture with you. Needless to say, our new friends were pretty happy to have their very own tourists to take pictures with. We started with group photos then some of them wanted photos with each of us individually. Just when we would start to think it was over the smiles and giggles would start up again and we would be asked for more and more poses. It was a little exhausting but it was pretty fun. It’s not every day that you’re a celebrity and the paparazzi is after you.
When photo time was done they gave us some thank you gifts and we said farewell. We were left with faces sore from excessive smiling and a really great feeling about Indonesian people. Everyone we met along our trip was really helpful and interested in talking to us. Even people on the street and at stores were all smiles and graciousness. If you end up in Indonesia remember it’s ok to talk to strangers.