In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Asians Taking Pictures of Other Asians: Borneo Edition
Yep, the Asians were out in full force on the beaches of Borneo. All across Sabah, from Manukan to Mamutik... you practically have to step over them.
Honeymooners, family groups, business worker associations, gal pals, teen group getaways, old and wrinkled and the young and sumptuous... the Asians dominated the beaches.
If you travel throughout Asia, it is interesting which destinations are packaged to different countries. The southern part of Thailand Phuket and Ko Samui are ravished with Russian travelers swilling vodka from bottles and chain smoking cigarettes at the pool.
India's religious sites from Varanasi to New Deli, Goa to Kolkata are beset with the Japanese in their funny hats and surgical masks following tour guides hoisting flags from bus to relic back to bus again.
Indonesian beaches around Bali and mountainous regions with art scenes like Ubud are overrun with Koreans looking for the perfect hilltop rice terrace or a little quaint shop to buy overpriced trinkets.
But nobody, and I mean nobody, comes close to the Chinese. They are everywhere. Grunting in their speedoes, grumbling and gambling in their leisure clothes, mugging for the camera in their dainty swim wear and posing for an endless cavalcade of photos in little trios and duos of peace-sign waving and hat adjusting smiles.
You can't miss it. Hundreds of them. Everywhere. Taking picture after picture. Hours upon hours spent. I know what you're going to say... Hey Hartenstein, it's like one green tea kettle calling the other one ... green. Yes, I take a lot of pictures too, but it's such a cultural phenomenon. These Asians and their obsession with capturing each other having fun, having a moment or relaxation, an afternoon of being human.
So I take a little break from my own fun and watch them too. Maybe I want to feel the same.
All of these pictures were taken within a two to three minute span at Manukan Island. I was surrounded by them.
It looks like they were having fun, and that's all that matters. A moment of being human, I felt human too.