With me it’s the proverbial question about the chicken or the egg: Do I dislike children because I’m gay and therefore (traditionally) not supposed to have any of my own? Or is it that I detest rug rats so much that the universe decided that It would be better off if I was gay and childless? Not that it really matters. Either works, both keep my life free of despicable mini-humans and their runny nose lifestyle. If I really needed someone in my life who craves constant attention while giving little to nothing back, I’d get a cat. At least you can train a cat to use a litter box.
But as with the elderly, who are equally as useless and best avoided at all times, when I have my camera strapped around my neck, invariably I find some little tyke who’d make for a good photo. So they’re not completely useless. And those photos serve as a quick reminder when one of my friends wants to bore me with pictures of his kids that I have vacation photos I can bore him with too. Plus, in doing so, there’s always the unspoken message that it’s because of his brood that he spent his two-week vacation at Disneyland while I took a month to travel the world. That goes down as a win-win in my book.
The one cool thing about kids is that they have not yet learned how to hide what they are feeling, their emotions are always on the surface, and their unguarded expressions were made for the camera. Their world is filled with wonder, new things, new experiences. And the look of a child can help you remember, while you’re bitching and moaning about your plane being delayed, your hotel reservation being lost, the taxi driver who tried to scam you, and the Thai/Farang dual pricing scheme at some attraction you just had to visit, that the reason you travel in the first place is to recapture that sense of wonderment with the world. At least until that kid’s runny nose reminds you that you caught a cold again because nothing breeds germs faster than the recycled air on a plane.
Seeing what their parents did to them, like their latest hair cut, is often good for a laugh too.
Thanks to that bastard I ran across in Malaysia who started this whole 7 Shots thingy off, photos of the little ones don’t often make it through my final cut. Some though are still too good to completely delete. And then there are those that I’ve discarded in favor of a shot of that particular child that I liked better. Some time ago I posted a Bonus Shot – Curiosity At The Wat – that perfectly fit that theme. It was only recently while cleaning through a bunch of old files that I ran across some of the other shots I’d taken of that kid (the opening shot in today’s post). He was such a cool, stylish little dude. I coulda done an entire 7 Shots post of him alone. And may still do so. The one of him when he ran over and punched his dad in the nuts is priceless. Although that shot was more about the dad than the kid. Since I missed honoring Father’s Day in Thailand last Friday (aka the King’s birthday) maybe I’ll remember next year and post that photo. Considering the Crown Prince’s recent antics, it might be appropriate.
Several years ago I also posted one of a series of photos I took of the kid above. I say kid, instead of boy or girl ‘cuz I usually can’t tell which is which at that age. And some slightly disgruntled parent once corrected me when I used the non-gender specific ‘it’. My bad. In any case, I took a lot of photos that day and while the one I previously posted was probably a better composition, I’m still hooked on these shots for two reasons. First, no others from that excursion better reminds me of that day, even though the photos of this kid have nothing to do with where we were or why we were there. Second, it was my first experience with one of Thailand’s bathroom buses. Which are kind of a group-hug, Thai version of a porta-pottie. Only more disgusting. The kid, and I assume its father, were up front in the driver’s seat. Which made for a better shot than what was going on in the back of the bus. And explained why Take Your Child To Work Day has never really caught on as an event in Thailand.
As is usually the case when I’m choosing my last of 7 shots, I wish that bastard had rounded up to an even 10. I’ve got several good candidates for today’s post of little kids who were selling postcards at every place I’ve ever visited in Cambodia; knowing poverty sells almost as well as sex (and I am NOT going there) those kid’s handlers usually make sure they are appropriately dirty and urchin-looking so that tourists will over-pay for their worthless stock. I’ve a handful of photos from Bali too of future massage shop workers, little girls on the streets of Kuta who you know will be headed that way as soon as they learn how to pronounce, “Massage, mistah?” correctly. But as endearing as photos of the plight of kids in third world countries can be, I’ll wrap this one up on a higher note and post this one to remind you that sometimes in life the best thing you can do is jump on a lamppost and enjoy the ride. ‘Cuz as disgusting a children can be, acting like one when you are an adult is always the preferable way to go.
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