Friday, August 05, 2011

Possibilité de photos

Half a life ago, I worked as a waitress at a very large restaurant in a Michigan tourist town.  Because our uniforms were inspired by German styles, it was common to be asked to pose with folks while wearing our waitress uniforms. They always wanted the male waiters in the pictures, too, since they had to wear lederhosen.

Just look at us.  We're adorable!  Who wouldn't want a pic of this?
(No, that's not really me.)
One afternoon after my shift, I observed a family trying to take a scenic picture outside the restaurant. They'd pose, snap a picture, the photographer would hand the camera to someone else, they'd shift around some, and take another shot. It didn't take long to realize they were trying to get everyone in the scene with one picture or the other.
I walked over and addressed the man holding the camera. "Would you like me to take a picture for you so you all can be in the picture together?"
He gave me a blank look. Too late, I realized they'd all been speaking French.
"I don't suppose you speak English?"
No. None of them did.
But, now I had their full attention. They were very curious what the girl in the dirndl had come over to tell them.
I would not have been able to make them understand, "Nevermind. It's not important."  No choice but to sally forth.

Have you ever tried to convince a total stranger to hand over their very expensive camera to you? Try doing it without using words.
After a great deal of pointing (your camera, me) and gesturing (you go there, me clicky clicky), they finally understood what I was offering. There were some squeals of delight, lots of laughter, and THE biggest smiles you ever saw in a family photo.


In a scrapbook somewhere in France today, there's a beautiful family photo that was taken in Frankenmuth, Michigan. And everytime it is shown, there's mention of the girl in a dirndl who took it


The Gray Monk said...

I experience this situation quite a lot at present - but my German is getting better! You just have to be careful about what you say about lederhosen ...

Roses said...

G-Monk: Which part of this situation do you experience? People wanting to take their picture with you, or you attempting to wrestle cameras away from folks speaking a foreign language?

Or... the part where you're wearing lederhosen?

::snickers and runs away::

Thumper said...

OK, now I'm going to have nightmares about being 7 again and forced to wear a freaking dirndl because we were living in Germany and my mother thought we needed to blend in...


I hate those damn things...

The Gray Monk said...

My wife keeps suggesting the lederhosen. Should I be worried?

It's the puzzled expressions these Germans get when I speak their language...

Bou said...

"Me clicky clicky" Bwhahahaha! That made me laugh.

Dani said...

Hey look I learned a new word "dirndl". I still like lederhosen better though.

Back when I was younger and cuter I used to model (not very sucessfully, no you won't have seen me in any comercials). I worked mainly in San Francisco. Weirdly many asian tourist thought I was the coolest thing they'd ever seen with to much makeup and all that blonde hair so I used to get photographed by whole packs of them. I've always thought it was funny that somewhere out there strangers have vactaion photos of me.

vw bug said...

I love it! Run into that a lot in Orlando. Still... I remember how many people I made laugh when I tried to speak German in Germany.

Andy said...

I'm like Dani...learned a new word. I'll probably forget it pretty soon, though.

I lived very near four National Parks which we frequented back in the day. It always amazed me the huge number of French tourists that came to see the great US Southwest. I would always offer (in my extremely broken Louisiana coonass learned French) to help them with photos. They were always more than grateful.

Then about 7 years ago, Pam and I decided to ramble around our own Louisiana to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We enjoyed the heck out of it...and found that at EVERY plantation home we visited there were French tourists. And, I even saw a Cajun trying to communicate with a French was like they were from different planets.

So, I stepped in and used hand signals...not sure if I said "clicky clicky," but it worked.

I'll bet that really is YOU in the picture, Roses. Don't be so bashful. We all know it's YOU.

Heh! I just got a great idea...

This is gonna be fun.

Moogie P said...

A legacy with an international flair. Nice.

So, did you wear braids, too?

Roses said...

Moogie: No braids. This was back in my "lopping off the hair on a whim" days. It never got long enough to braid.

We also wore hats. Red Peter Pan type hats.
There's a pic of a real live waiter wearing one in this post:

Roses said...

BTW, Gray Monk, you and the Mrs. might be amused by the creative adjustments some of us (me) made to the word "lederhosen" in the comments of that other post with the waiter pic.

... or maybe not.