Sing, Sing a Song

cancunmercado232

I rounded a corner of Mercado 23, the Cancun market used by locals to buy any and everything; it’s an intriguing place filled with stalls of foods, clothing, decorations for Christmas, herbs and spices; sitting there playing his drum and singing was this man who is blind. I went up to him to put a few coins in his bowl, and also let him know that I had taken his picture. The man almost jumped out of his skin, and said “NO”.  Already guilty thoughts were going through my mind, kicking myself for having taken photos of this person who was unaware of my doing it because he could not see. I mustered up my courage and asked him why he seemed so frightened, and told him I could erase the photos if he’d rather (at this point I was a little frightened myself).  The man told me he was afraid I would put a spell on him, or steal his soul, and he was very serious about this. Everything in me wanted to just say I was sorry, and run, but for some reason I decided to stay and talk to him.  I assured him that the photos were for my blog, for good people to see, and explained that no spells would be placed on him.  We talked for a while, discussing this blog and what it was about, who I was, and who he was; within five minutes this gentleman relaxed and said the photos were ok to use. He continued to play his plaintive drum beat and sing a song of words that I did not understand.

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This is what travel is all about, those chance encounters with people you will never see again, but who you will remember for a long time.

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About Angeline M

Love to travel, read, garden. I am a nurse case manager working in Disease Management. Photos of locations visited are personal file photos.
This entry was posted in A Little Bit of the Everyday, Travel, Travel to Mexico and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Sing, Sing a Song

  1. Speculating Sunrise says:

    Incredible post. One of my favorite reasons to travel as well. It really has an impact in your life.

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  2. You are so right about chance encounters and meaningful travel experiences ~ this is the perfect example. Unexpectedly, you each brought something into each other’s life. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  3. rommel says:

    One of the best posts ever! So much areas in a paragraph, an awesome ending and the well-captured portrait that envelopes it. Ima FB share this!

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  4. hugmamma says:

    I had a similar encounter a few years ago when I wanted to photograph a homeless woman. Unfortunately she did not want to engage in conversation. Since I wanted to shine a light on the plight of the homeless for my readers, I took a distant snapshot of her from across the road. I did feel guilty, but I also felt those of us who are more fortunate need to be confronted with such pictures to feel uncomfortable with the disparity in our society.

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    • Angeline M says:

      It’s not an easy decision sometimes, as to whether to take photos or not. I think it depends on what our intent is, and unless she should come over and tell you to erase the photos, then you can go ahead. I’ve read that taking photos of people out in a public place, pretty much gives one free license to take the photo without permission.

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  5. thirdeyemom says:

    What a story Angeline. The photos are spectacular too.

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  6. Leya says:

    I understand perfectly your feelings. I never take photos of people without asking them. And, I very seldom really do ask …I’m to afraid to disturb them. It’s easier to take pictures of children, because they usually love it. Most of my people pictures are taken from behind…especially in countries where they answer like this gentle man did. About being afraid of losing their soul …

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    • Angeline M says:

      If I’m using my zoom, and I’m far enough away I don’t ask, but I also try to be unobtrusive. A lot of the women in this area would turn their face if they saw the camera pointed at them. There were others though, that were ok with a photo or two when asked (I’ll be introducing them soon). With kids, I always ask their parent or guardian for permission, especially here in the U.S. as this could create an issue. It’s an interesting part of photography, that’s for sure.

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  7. Patti Kuche says:

    This is such a touching story Angeline, an experience full to the brim of feelings. For both of you. You captured it all so beautifully!

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  8. Thanks for sharing the story behind your photo. I rarely take pictures of people outside of family because I have a hard time feeling comfortable with these kind of conversations. You handled it beautifully though. 🙂

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    • Angeline M says:

      It has taken me a couple of years to get to this point, really, two or so years! I started out reading street photography articles, and how to talk to the people you want to take a photo of, and I was extremely doubtful I could ever do this. One step at a time.
      Thanks.

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  9. Amy says:

    That is so respectful to ask permission from him and explain the blog.

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    • Angeline M says:

      As I was taking the photos I knew that I should go tell him that I was doing it, but waited until I was through shooting. As I take more photos of people, I am getting more experience in also communicating with them.

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  10. Yes, I’m sure that you’d remember this experience even without your image, But it helps to freeze the moment, which you can return to over and over to help the emotions surface. You had a powerful experience.

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  11. Madhu says:

    I agree. These fleeting moments remain with me long after those standard travel memories fade. Beautiful photos and post Angeline. Look forward to catching up with your Mexico posts 🙂

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  12. artifotoblog says:

    What a nice story. The picture certainly does justice to the person. “ A Gentleman Musician “

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  13. arlene says:

    Nice street photography Angeline 🙂

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