One of the things that drives me absolutely NUTS here is when I catch people taking photos/video of me surreptitiously on their camera phone.
I try to never photograph people without asking them first, unless it is at a large public/newsworthy event, but in Jakarta, videoing and photographing bules seems to be some kind of new hobby.
It makes me feel like an animal in a zoo sometimes and especially pisses me off when I am already having a frustrating day.
The other night, I was out at one of my favourite venues in town, Lucy in the Sky, having fun, dancing up a storm and being silly with friends. That is, until I noticed someone filming us dancing on their phone and laughing at us. All of a sudden I had fears about ‘Fat bule dancing like an idiot’ videos showing up on YouTube. It totally killed my buzz.
When I travel outside of Jakarta, I’m used to people asking if I can randomly be in photos with their group etc. It gets annoying sometimes (group number 72 billion of the day will get a less enthusiastic response than the first group in the morning), but I’m usually fine with it because they ask. Sometimes I say yes, sometimes I say no. I have the choice. I also get that they are usually on holiday too, from the villages etc, and they might not see foreigners that often.
But when Jakarta people take photos/film I get the feeling that it is for ridicule. Especially when I’m eating… that really freaks me out. I have enough hangups about that as it is.
So stop it guys! Ask first!