Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Celebrity Ego

If you fancy fame and crave die hard fans but find you come up short on the talent and/or celebrity status totem pole, then, my dear friend, I would recommend you go to India. Granted, in order for this formula to work you have to be an obvious foreigner. I think. I can't find any other explanation for why we were so sought after on eastern shores and so mournfully neglected at home. It spoiled us. Truly. Having a fan base for no reason is incredibly addicting.

Mary did forewarn us but we, the nobody Americans that we were, dismissed it with disbelief.  
Very soon we were happily proven wrong.

Here are some creepers sporting a move that I came up with in junior high. Charlotte managed to catch them here and... Don't worry about the guy in the white shirt. That's David. We know him. Those behind him are another matter.

But they got this picture of Charlotte capturing the above photo and me giving a thumbs up to being popular.

It started this way of people passing by and sneaking pictures but as we progressed towards the mausoleum our new found fan gathering made progress in approaching us and asking to take a picture with us... which made my naturally cautious self incredibly suspicious.

But that's why you travel with a person named Charlotte who LOVES being famous. She began accepting these proposals with belief that people were finally realizing her picture value. She was also suspicious that maybe they were mistaking us for someone famous. So she told some people she was. Because who would doubt her claim to being a winter Olympian.

Pretty soon we didn't need a fake claim to fame, we simply were famous. And pretty soon Charlotte began charging people to take pictures with her as an opportunity for bartering leverage. "I'll give you 100 rupees... and a chance to take a picture with me."

This was a group of boys I sent after her and here she is asking for money for her picture.
Pretty soon you come to find you'd be surprised if any of these picture seekers want anything other than an autograph. And then you'll find how unbelievably quick you adopt a personality of polite entitlement.

Towards the end of the day you can hear my politeness begin to fade away. In my defense I had like 10 minutes to get through the Agra Fort before closing.

Then we got caught in a photo progression with our Pizza Hut waiter who not only got some photos with us...

 ...but also managed to give us his facebook information.

And finally, below, we have a sweet woman who worked at the airport, saw my camera around my neck and asked if she could take a picture with us. Despite the fact that it was my camera and she'd never see a copy of the picture she was still pleased.

Then.... well then you go home. And you wonder with shock and awe why people here aren't asking for your picture. Why? What is wrong with them?
And you begin to miss the people who treated you so well like the Bollywood actress that you see yourself as. Leave your house on a windy day in India and you will, I guarantee, be in your own Bollywood film. They're ridiculous but they aren't lying.