February 23, 2014

Observation on Travel - Oaxaca, Mexico

As with many people, I love going to public markets when I travel.   It's a great way to get an insight into the culture since food plays such a significant part.  It's also a place to mingle with the locals.   Taking my camera with me is always fraught with a little anxiety and hesitation.   There are so many wonderful images that I see, but I also want to be respectful of the people and not view it all as just novelty.  I think this image below illustrates so well. 

I happened to be leaving the market just as a tour bus arrived.  Without so much as a simple greeting, they snapped their photos with cameras dangling from their necks completely ignoring the chapulines vendor. It was pretty obvious that she wasn't enjoying herself.  I feel when traveling, one needs to put the camera down and actually see and interact with what or whom is in front of you. 

Sometimes it can work in your favor, and you are invited to make some photos, like when I started talking and purchasing some wonderful food being prepared under a tent next to the cathedral.   The women where selling their freshly made food to raise money for the parish. I showed some interest, started asking some questions and before I knew I was being given the grand tour of all the vendors and what they where making.  It was a great interaction and they insisted I get in the picture with them.  Of course, I had to try some of the chicken empanadas too!

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