You want to photo us?

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Hong Kong portrays itself as Asia’s world city and you can barely walk a couple of meters in the financial district without seeing people from a variety of nationalities. Westerners spill out onto the streets outside the busiest bars in Lung Kwai Fong. So when we went to the beach, we were surprised to find that somehow we had become the main attraction. Strangers frequently wanted to take photographs of us. Which, when it happens, is a surreal, overwhelming and awkward experience so when we asked why they did this, the response ‘it’s a Chinese thing’ didn’t seem much of an explanation. The first time it happened, we were all in our bikini’s (and some of the girls are very beautiful indeed) so I just assumed that the two guys involved were creeps. However, since then it has happened on a number of other occasions (both on and off the beach). A woman crept up behind our friend, while he was taking a picture of us, and snapped one too, before asking if he would take one of her with us (the cheek of it!). We wondered what on earth she would do, take the picture back to show her family; “Look what I saw today! EUROPEAN girls!” Though a minority, white people aren’t exactly a rarity in Hong Kong. Something that may explain such behaviour, could be that those taking photos of us were Mainlanders visiting Hong Kong, who perhaps live in areas off the tourist trail and not much visited by westerners.

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