Fresh produce and “I’m not a spy!”

apples and ?

Does anyone know what these are? They look an awful lot like melons, but are the size of apples and oranges.

I love the color of this also-unnamed vegetable.


Gotta’ love these peppers….

Chinese eggplant

Doesn’t this Chinese eggplant look like a bunch of eels? All of this beautiful produce was in one store.

Since we weren’t buying anything, I didn’t want to be a pain and ask employees the names of everything after taking pictures in their shop. I am keenly aware of how easy it is to annoy people with photography.  When I took a shot of some nice wall tiles in yesterday’s bakery, the women working there started speaking in animated, high-pitched voices, like little birds warning of a predator. I stopped shooting immediately. Turns out their license was on that wall. I hope they didn’t think I was from the board of health or something.

I was once detained in Budapest, Hungary, after allegedly taking pictures of government buildings. (The country was still Communist at the time.) What I had been doing in fact was scanning the whole area with my camera, looking for something good to photograph. Out of nowhere a little guy in a trenchcoat and aviator sunglasses appeared and asked for my passport. I was taller than him (5’10”) and thought he was kidding, so I refused. I have never been in trouble in my life, so I was just incredulous that someone could suspect me of anything. I was also a young, naive American. And honestly, this guy looked like a rat in some cartoon. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’d probably be scared.

Anyway, my boyfriend started laughing, and then the little man showed us his badge. We couldn’t believe it! He then escorted us into the building I had supposedly photographed, and we were held for two hours while they inspected my film for “spy photos,” or whatever they were looking for. Of course they found nothing, and gave us back our passports and camera (sans film). We missed the city tour we’d already paid for, but didn’t care anymore. I’m sure Budapest is a lovely city, but we were soured. That experience is why I have very few photos of Damascus, Syria. There were “no photography” signs posted everywhere, and guards with machine guns. I wasn’t taking any more chances.

About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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4 Responses to Fresh produce and “I’m not a spy!”

  1. The second photo is bok choy.

    So good!

    Love your pictures, by the way. =)

  2. cantueso says:

    But even here, in Spain, where there aren’t any political problems right now (touch wood), it is not easy to photograph things in a shop and often impossible in a supermarket, because the managers or owners are afraid. If you aren’t the police, you might be a journalist or the competition or a lawyer’s aide.

    It is also difficult to get permission to photograph somebody’s doggie. Even a little pet doggie! And the dog dfoesn’t like it either, or so I was told.

    I myself have never photographed anything.

  3. It seemed to be OK when I took photos in La Boquería in Barcelona, but maybe because it was all different vendors? I do know that major department stores don’t want pictures taken, probably because of the competition you mentioned.

    It’s tricky sometimes, but I tend to trust my instincts. I would never photograph a stranger’s child, for instance. There are too many crazies posting stuff to the wrong web sites.

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