25 February 2011

Outtakes: Doing the Tourist Dance at the Roman Forum

The Tourist Dance is the new Macarena, the new Electric Slide, the new Soulja Boy. You do it at a tourist site by walking up to someone and holding out your camera and quickly pointing to yourself and the other person and the camera. At major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, your Tourist Dance partner is probably already approaching you when you start. So you both point and ask, "Foto?" and laugh awkwardly and take each other's pictures. Also works as a great icebreaker at tourists sites. Seriously. Anyway, a funny thing happened, uh, at the Forum ...

I approached a sixty-ish British couple and initiated the Tourist Dance. When I handed my camera to the man, he started walking away. His wife called out to him, “Dear! Where are you going?”

“I've got to get back quite a ways to get the whole thing in the photo with the man,” he said. His tone was proper but gruff, and his thick white mustache bounced with authority as he spoke. If you'd swapped his Nike cap for a pith helmet and given him a monocle, he could have been a classic British general in a far-flung outpost. He turned and yelled for me to smile. His wife stepped out of the way--although, as it turned out, not far enough.

The General strode back and showed off his handiwork. “Got just about the whole thing in there!”

I was basically a speck at the bottom of the image.

“Yes, and you forgot the poor man in the midst of it all,” the General's wife said. She took my camera. “Right then, love, let's have another go--one where your friends can see you without squinting. ”

Much better. "Now your friends will know you really were here," she said.

Below: their two efforts.

1 comment:

  1. you look so Italian in the black shirt...aside from the guide book...


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