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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.


  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??


    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 🙂


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.