26 February 2006

What Is A Camera For Anyway?

Since I bought my digicam 2 months ago, I nearly ran into trouble as many times. In an earlier post, I related how a man violently protested when I took his photo without permission. Then yesterday, another similar incident happened in a shopping centre near where Chris stays. Now you know how I risked life and limb to get my photos on my blog.

I noticed that a lot of shops there had either moved away or were closed down recently. One reason could be due poor business. (Read on - I soon found out that there was another more likely reason.) Customers seemed to prefer visiting shopping centres in another nearby town.

Some examples of outlets in the shopping centre which had closed down:

Immediately after I took the bottom right photo, a shopkeeper came out from the adjacent shop and confronted me. Obviously she was damn free did not happen to have customers in her shop at that time. This was the dialogue that followed:

Shopkeeper: Do you have permission to take photos here?

Me (quoting the good-to-use line from Kenny Sia): Is there any sign that says I can't?

Shopkeeper (sensing that my English is quite powderful): It's implicit.

Me: And do you have permission to intervene?

Shopkeeper: You stay here! I am calling the security guard.
With that she turned around and walked briskly back into her shop. Now, I was not afraid of the security guard but ever since I left National Service, I never followed orders barked out to me that way. So I also turned around and walked briskly away.

While making my getaway, I saw this sign posted outside a lift in the shopping centre:

Oh, so what I did was considered 'suspicious behaviour'? What was the shopkeeper thinking? Did I look like a txxxxrist who was taking photos with intention to bxxb the place? Even if I were, I wouldn't have chosen a shopping centre so devoid of human traffic, would I? Couldn't I be a potential customer who was only trying out a digital camera on sale there? What's the use of a camera if I can't even take photos of something as inanimate as a closed shop? And if I had always asked the rightful owner for permission to take photos, do you think you will get to see all the interesting photos on my blog? Fat chance okay. What is a camera for anyway? To take family snapshots or make stars of of ourselves in blue movies for our own private consumption? How boring!

Now, the real reason why this shopping centre was suffering a diminishing crowd of shoppers must be due to hostile and overly suspicious shopkeepers. Incidentally, the shopkeeper's shopname was 'Moods' and she must have been in a bad one that day considering that her shop had no business. Especially to Chun See - considering the circumstances, I am willing to forgive and extend the olive branch to her, that is if I ever step into that shopping centre again and her shop is not closed down by then.


Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are paranoidnia. And seemingly innocent activities (like photo taking) can only happen in prescribe places (like tourist spot). With more ppl with too much time on their hand (no business) to kapo about other ppl business. Sad


fr said...

Come to think of it; if someone comes to my shop (or my flat)to take a photo, I would not protest but I would like to know why. To complain, to post it in a blog, or what?

Anonymous said...

not really 'paranoidnia' or 'kapo' if you look at it from another angle

1. It is the neighbour spirit - I'm sure you want your neighbour to keep an eye on your store wor house when you're away. Isn't that what we are encouraging.

2. Won't you feel alarmed if someone suddenly come to take a picture of your ordinary shop.

Chris Sim said...

Victor, rest assured that people and the shop-keepers staying in my areas are God fearing, law-abidding and peace-loving people. Now, back to your harrassment suffered at the hands of the moody gal. I'm not sure if it's the same gal I bought the aroma therapy scent from, but she always strikes me as friendly and courteous. But I do agree that she did overact somewhat considering that you were merely taking photos of animated objects. Maybe she moody because she PMS lah. You suay lor.

But be warned, my friend. One day, you'll definitely get your faced punched. Or re-arranged. The extend some people go to do a blog! tsk..tsk..tsk..

Funny you should mentioned snapping fotos of yourself for your enjoyment (you perverted narcissist, your!) You thinking of Tammy issit? Give the poor girl a break lah.

Victor said...

I actually did not mind the shopkeeper approaching me but rather it's her harsh manner and tone that put me on a defensive stance rightaway. If she had only asked politely and in a more gentle tone like, 'Excuse me, may I know why you are taking photos of my neighbour's shop?' then I would definitely have reacted differently. I would probably have said, 'It's because I'm interested in taking over this shop.' Then she might have replied, 'Why not you consider my shop instead [since business is rather slow]?' And then she might even invite me to take a photo of her shop too. Muahaha.