A few days ago, my friend reminded me of something funny that had happened while we were on vacation. I’d all but forgotten about the incident, but as soon as she mentioned it, I remembered it pretty clearly. As if it’d happened just last week and not five months ago.
Memory is a strange thing, isn’t it? Perhaps a few days from now, I’ll forget the incident again. Or, maybe since I’m sharing the story, it will forever remain etched in my brain. Then again, maybe not.
The incident was nothing major, really. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment things that turned out to be kind of funny.
Annelies and I were walking along a street in the lakeside town of Hallstatt, Austria, when I noticed a group of Asian women taking photos of each other. It was a beautiful, but very touristy, town, and it was full of tourists.
Normally, I would offer to take their picture for them. This time, for some unknown reason, I decided to photobomb them instead. So I ran up and posed behind one of the women being photographed. The woman with the camera got a shocked look on her face and squealed loudly, laughing.
I started to apologize, but then the ladies were all saying “No, no. Thank you, thank you!” They were all laughing, motioning me to pose, as if I were photobombing them again. Even Annelies and I were laughing by then. These women were so happy to have been photobombed.
Later, the more I thought about it, the funnier it became. People around the world who don’t see a lot of Americans and only know us through movies, TV, and the media can have a distorted view of Americans. Imagine these women having read about weird habits of Americans, including photobombing. Then, they go one vacation, and are photobombed by a large American stranger. They probably went home and told everyone Americans really do randomly photobomb people. Look, it happened to them.
I wonder how many times my photo has been shown around their village.
“Look, look, um, American photobomber! In real life. In some little town on the edge of Austria. We weren’t even in their country and she photobombed us anyway! Crazy, rude American.”
I wish I had a copy of the picture.