finally decided to jet off to a foreign land where i don’t need to pack bug spray, 100 SPF sunscreen or my malaria pills. what could such a destination be? portugal, of course. but why portugal specifically? glad you asked. because the gallery that wants to be the first to exhibit my photographs of haiti is in lisbon. lisboa to the natives.
coolest moment of the opening reception for my show…a random woman says she loves this & points to a piece on the wall. the gallery owner giggles & says “that’s my favorite photograph too & here’s the artist.” & she gestures to me. M-E. ME.
then of course, the random woman wants a pic of me, her & the photograph. cause after all, i’m now a famous artiste. i respond with “you’re so funny” & strike a pose. at the end of the night, when i say goodbye to said random woman with two cheek kisses (cause after all, i’m european famous), she looks me square in the eye & says “why you say i’m funny?”
crap. crap. crap.
note to self…TRY not to insult the patrons of a gallery with my americanism.
but apparently, not totally obvious.
my time in haiti speaking a weird french / creole / english hybrid is screwing with my ability to communicate with all non-native english speakers. i say MERCI (french) to spanish flight attendants. GRACIAS (spanish) to portuguese taxi drivers. THANK YOU (english, duh) to ticket collectors at tourist traps. and occasionally OBRIGADA (portuguese) to a portuguese-but-speaks-fluent-english waiter. which gets me into trouble because then he fires off rapid portuguese menu options. to which i can only offer the ubiquitous, dumbfounded HUH? response. i did say ARIGATO (japanese) to an indian shopkeeper in lisboa.
now you’re wondering why the japanese. esp since i’ve never been to japan & the only other japanese word i know is sushi. apparently, when the portuguese ruled the seas 500 years ago, they were the first westerners to land in japan, who was so welcoming of the foreigners, they adopted obrigado, the portuguese thank you, into their own, arigato.
speaking of haiti & photographs, did you donate to the photography workshop i’m having there with 25 kids? there’s still time. every little bit helps. every big bit helps even more.
just click here for your good deed of the day. http://www.indiegogo.com/viewfinderworkshop
merci / gracias / thank you / obrigada / arigato in advance!