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Monday, April 12, 2010

Circle, Square ... Circus, Fair

Right. Can someone please debunk the mystery of Times Square for me please? Or even Piccadilly Circus.

Why is it that they attract hoards of tourists and new inhabitants who all want to pose against the background of a giant shiny screen and be photographed? I mean, they're just bloody giant tv screens displaying ads for god's sakes! Why the heck do you want to be photographed with your head lending (hah!) its magnificence to a lousy consumer marketing tactic? Couldn't you just stand in front of your own tv screen and take a photo?! They'd definitely be more intersting!

Are you going to look at that photo years down the line and go, "Oooo lookie! That mcdonald's/samsung/whatevertheheckcompany ad really brought out the colour of my eyes!"? WHAT?!

A magnificent cupid statue, stately architecture that allows for fantastic angles if you will but see them, a sculpture of three horses whinnying on their hind legs and a zillion other more interesting sights to remember and save for the future and people have to go and take photos of bleeding ADS. Not even interesting ones at that!!*

And don't get me started on the desi tourists. Why the fuck do you have to stare?! At other desis that too. Never seen one before or what?!**

*Although I do watch out for this ad for some phone that keeps playing, it has this guy in it who has the most adorable infectious grin.

**She says smiling at them unnerves them to no end ... I'd try that except I can't get beyond wanting to glare and fry them on the stop spot. Grrr

Edited to add: I think the anthem for such people ought to be 'Pardesiyon se na ankhiyan milana'. 'Pardesi referring to pretty much everyonethey do not know personally, even if they are desi.

Edited again to add: Why is it that Trafalgar Square doesn't get as much desi tourist traffic? Is it that intellectuality of the National Portrait Gallery, located right behind TS, staves them off? It's a pity these tourist nuisances aren't like the pigeons flocking around ... else you could do an expansive hand-gesture and watch them go 'phurrrrrrrrr' ... tch.


  1. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Forget staring, if you are a girl, they scan you with their eyes, top to bottom, in such a way that you wonder if they can actually see your underwear :P
    Even women scan, bloody hell!

  2. HAHAHA - Wait till you get here! You can always spot the fresh H1Bs/L1s at Times Square simply by the way they hold the camera and take pictures of themselves. Yes, themselves. No one else will take pictures of them in an attempt to save their eyes.

  3. LOL I thought they behaved abroad

  4. How else can they prove to their friends and relatives that they actually went to "foreign"???

  5. a. the kabootars where you live do NOT go phurrrr when you wave ur hands at them. they stare at you much like the desis you mention.
    b. i've tried smiling at them. they have that 'deer-caught-in-headlight' look and they scamper away.
    c. not all are like that. some are actually nice and return the smile. but then, these are usually the ones who haven't been staring.
    d. i do not u'stand importance of touristy photos. at all.
    e. i love ads. and big screen tvs. but not in "squares"! ;)

  6. In Chennai I would regularly see people taking their pics outside Spencer Plaza like it was the Taj Mahal or something. Beat that!

  7. p.s.: trafalgar square gets shooting crews as well. how can you say it doesn't get traffic! u want a list of cheesy movie scenes/songs shot there?!
    i think it's just that the place is so big that u tend to not notice the desis.

  8. Seems someone was asked by one too many tourist to take a photograph in Piccadilly Circus ;)

    BTW, where and when are you coming to US?

  9. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Guilty as accused. Not of staring, but if taking the so-called 'patel shots'. All I can say in my defence is that I outgrew it after a while. :D
    I guess the reason its done is that you can purchase pics dime a dozen w/o your map in them. And also that you have handy digital cameras. I doubt it would be done in case of old film cams.

    That said, it gets boring after a while. And regd. your point abt looking at the pic later.. heck, I don't look at 90% of the pics I have taken over the years. :)

    Quite a long comment, that!

  10. Celestialrays: Maybe they ought to be stationed at the airport, no need for x-ray machines then! :P They ALL stare, wonder why! What the heck is so interesting about some random desi?!

    G: I was hoping we'd avoid Time Square but if we must go there then I refuse to pose and all okay? And of course they take photos of themselves ... or they take turns photographing when they're with company. But why this senseless obsession with snapping TV screens?!

    Phoenixritu: Oh a lot of them do but most would make you cringe!

    The Cloudcutter: Dude, you take photos at the Grand Canyon or Niagara, I get that. One must have proof of having gone to phoren ... but giant TV screens?! Cmon!

    Catty: a) Wrong kabootars. Idhar ke kabootars are the kabootar version of desis. They're not like our ghar ke kabootar which go phurr. b) YOU can get away with smiling and all ... I can't. c) You won't finf that variety around PC much, I assure you. d) I don't either but one falls into the trap now and then ;) e) I know :D

    Chinkurli: Okay you really do win this one!

    Catty: Somehow they are less irritating around there. Course, I don't hang out much there so ...

    Amey: No I merely got stared at a whole lot. Have to pass by the blasted place every other day thanks to it being on my route. I'm there next month, will be with Catty all the time.

    Alice: Patel shots ... HAHA!!! I don't have an issue with tourity posed photos ... I simply don't get the logic of having a giant TV screen with ads as your background of choice. How is that 'phoren' in ANY sense?! Digital photography has resulted in people taking shots they won't bother looking at ... oh well.

  11. just thought. we should make YOU pose at times square and put up that pic on the blawwgss!
    heehhehehee!!! :D :D :D

  12. i knoooow. i work for a travel company now and am apalled by some of the sightseeing requests that we get. nothing of cutural interest. It has to be all shiny and lit up. I think that's what phoren means to us :D

    Anonymous: patel shots?! i love that term.

  13. Anonymous6:22 AM

    Haha... Seems people are very fascinated with lights...

    And if you haven't posed at Times Square, then you've not been to New York City!