We have traveled to many many countries and I cannot remember any locals wanting to take our pictures. (Murray has subsequently told me we have been asked.) In Myanmar, a number of locals ask to take our pictures or have us stand beside them while someone takes a group shot. Is it the advent of the cell phone camera which makes picture taking easier? Is it the new influx of tourists into Myanmar? Not sure.
I catch this fellow taking pictures of us in a temple and so I smile and, in pantomime, ask him if I may take his photo. He smiles and laughs the whole time.
R&L, who are both VERY tall, have many more requests for photos than Murray and me. In a country where I sometimes feel tall at 5’1″, I can see how R&L would stand out. These young ladies ask if L and I would stand with them for a picture. We all look very serious!
And then there are some locals that ask us to take their picture. Murray obliges and then shows them the photo. These ladies are touring a temple in Bagan, just like we are and ask Murray to take their picture. I think they are gorgeous!
A further ponderence of this mutual picture taking is that if I came upon a tourist in Edmonton, I would not ask this traveler if I could take her picture. Would I ask to stand beside the traveler and have our picture taken? I think not. I am not sure why locals want photos of foreign tourists in Myanmar.
The Burmese probably find it strange we want pictures of them plowing their fields with an oxen or paddling along the floating garden. They are just doing their everyday chores. Would we think it odd to have a tourist take our picture while we were mowing the lawn?
Life is so full of mysteries!