Wherever you have tourists, you will have souvenir and trinket sellers. And some of them make for great portraits. Like the two Bedouin women I met in Petra.
They were selling interestingly shaped stones, bead necklaces, bracelets, rings, little statuettes and other souvenirs. And dolls made of rags. When they saw me taking me pictures, they cooperated but kept emphasizing I buy a doll from them. I would have had they not been asking JD 20 for it (One Jordanian Dinar = US$ 1.4 / Indian Rs. 65 approx). The negotiations continued as I clicked – we eventually settled for one JD for each as a tip – no purchase. When I say we settled, I mean I offered and stuck to it!
I would have loved to chat them up but there was a language barrier naturally. The only common vocabulary were ‘dinar’ and the amounts. Many Bedouins continue to live their traditional nomadic ways, earning money through petty professions like these. Many of them still stay within Petra – and Government efforts to relocate them have failed. The former see Petra as their ancestral home, and refuse to cooperate. One would not imagine that ‘subjects’ can defy their ‘king’ like they would in a purely democratic set up, but apparently there are those who do – and get away with it.
And do join us for a coffee at the Kunzum Travel Cafe in Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi, India.