People in Hagia Sophia

Posing for a selfie

I wanted a clear and unobstructed photo of the marble door in the south gallery of the Hagia Sophia. This is not easy, because a continuous stream of people go through it. After a long wait I decided that I should be taking photos of tourists instead. In any case, ambush photography is great fun: you take photographs of people who are being photographed by others. The Family and I had an argument a few days before about whether Chinese tourists outnumber everyone else.

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I’m not terribly good at pinpointing nationalities, but by my count about two and a half photos out of the eight in the slide show contain Chinese people. A significantly larger number come from eastern Europe. Add in the west Europeans, Turks, and a smattering of people from across Asia outside of China, and I think you begin to get a picture of where the tourists come from. About half of them take selfies, a fourth have someone else take their photo, and the rest are not interested in their own photos. My survey was interrupted because I was spotted while taking a non-ambush photo. I had to go back to being a tourist interested in the marble door again.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

7 comments

  1. Brilliantly observed. I’ve talked to lots of the staff in popular tourist sites, and they get unreservedly hot under the collar about the selfie-seeker looking for nothing better than an attractive backdrop to their self-portraits. Now. Where are those selfies of yours? Surely a well-travelled person like you has hundreds??

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    1. In a sparsely visited site I don’t mind people who take selfies. You can go around them, or wait for them to finish. It is in overly popular places that it is a nuisance. We try to take selfies only in extremely popular places, so that the additional burden is negligible.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I noticed the same thing when I went – just wrote a blog about it too, so at least it gave us some writing inspiration. The worst was the people walking around with their selfie sticks and vlogging – they bumped into me so many times! Well written and well observed 🙂

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