Portrait of a Resident: Brugges

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It never wears off:  the wonder of realizing that the new, super-cool city, town or village I am visiting is, simply, home for someone else. I don’t know why, but this always blows my mind. I try to imagine what it would be like to live there, or to grow up there, and viewing the rest of the world from that context. What would excite me about other places? (My home town, for example.)  Would I grow tired of the crumbly-but-adorable homes if I had seen them my whole life? What about the majestic architecture– would it lose its wonder? For this reason, I love to capture the faces of the people who live in the places I visit. In Brugges, it seemed like everyone was a tourist. We were looking for a lunch recommendation, and this gentleman’s orange vest let us know that he could give us a local’s perspective.

 The place he sent us to ended up being a fritterie, where every single thing was deep-fried. We ended up passing on that, but we were assured by our friends from De Haan that he had, indeed, sent us to the best fritterie in town.

I always get butterflies in my stomach before I ask someone if I can take their picture. I’m not sure why. People are what I want to see, capture, and remember most– but I often feel afraid. I am trying to get over this, and to just ask more often.

Clearly, he was happy that I did. And now, he is part of our Brugges experience.

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8 Responses to Portrait of a Resident: Brugges

  1. Nathan June 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    I’m the same way about the people pictures, but it’s really what I want to bring back with me. Nice one!

    • Ariana June 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Thanks, Nathan! It sometime helps for me to think of how I’d feel if a foreigner I’d been chatting with wanted to take my picture… But I am pretty easy-going that way!

  2. Robin June 17, 2012 at 3:32 am #

    I love thinking about locations in the same way. It’s really fun to try to see the place from their point of view and I like sharing our home, our town, our country in the same way. It’s fun to see people’s wonder at this “amazing” place.

    • Ariana June 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      Yes, it’s really fun to show people around. I am so curious about what strikes them as interesting/ unusual!

  3. Mary De Bastos June 17, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    I often gets asked “WHY?” Why did we come to Scotland? Why did we settle in Motherwell? Why would we choose a place such as this? They speak of it in such a way as not to be proud of the place they live/work and why would I ever want to be there. They wonder why I left the sunshine of the USA {I’m pretty sure they think all of the USA is like Florida}.

    I go on to tell them that our surroundings are not typical in the US and that I’m loving the experience of living abroad. I list things I love about our little town and even though the sun could come out more, all this rain makes such lush green fields. The locals don’t see the every day charm of where they live, or maybe they are ready to move on?!

    I’m glad you took his picture. He looks happy. It brings life to where you are. I like it.

    • Ariana June 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Isn’t that funny, Mary? I guess this is the wonder of travel– we see what is home to us in a more objective way, and that there are so many ways to live… Bury St. Edmunds is a really wonderful little town, a favorite of many Brits– but people (who are not from Bury) have told me that the locals don’t think it’s anything special, that they have an incredible knack for griping about their town. Funny!

  4. Great Scott June 19, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Taking photos of people is one of my all time favorite things – but I too get very nervous about it sometimes. Even with friends/family. But, as your photos show, it can be SO worth it. Love these. The big smile, the ice cream cone, the orange vest. All of it. SO awesome!

    • Ariana June 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      Thanks, Sarah! Glad to hear I’m not alone… I can tell you love to photograph people, it’s so evident in your pictures.

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