He called my bluff.
WANDANDIAN, Australia- I saw the words “Wandandian,” written on a convenient store and I snapped a photo of it. The name sounded like that of a Chinese quicky mart, and I write about such things. This was just a gas station on the side of the highway that I stopped at to get a cup of coffee, and I didn’t know yet that the village that I was in was called Wandandian, not the shop.
However, that has little to do with this story.
After I snapped the photo the convenient store worker — a young Indian guy — came storming out asking why I took a photo. I figured he was just bored or curious. So I told him what I do.
But then he became a little aggressive.
“You have to ask permission to take a photo first. You can’t just take a picture of something without asking permission. This is very bad. This is very bad,” he began, acting more like I robbed the place than merely snapping a photo of its exterior.
Was this guy serious?
I asked him. He was.
“You should know that you can’t just take a picture of something. That is illegal,” he kept going.
I disputed his claims that taking a photo of a building from the side of the road was a legal offense.
But he kept going on and on about my “crime,” distracting me from pouring my much needed cup of coffee.
He then demanded to see my credentials. I informed him that he was a clerk at a quicky mart in the middle of nowhere and that I would do no such thing.
“Then we have a very big problem,” he responded. “This is a very, very big problem.”
He wouldn’t shut up. I decided to end the irritating exchange.
“If it’s illegal to take a photo then call the fucking police.”
He really did.
I told clerk to go fuck himself and left before the police could arrive … if they would even respond to such a call. I’m sure that even the cops out in Wandandian have better things to do than give spiteful/frightened/underachieving/bored/douchbaggy immigrants a momentary big man fix.
No, I didn’t get my cup of coffee.