Actually, it’s what you don’t see in this photo that makes it interesting. See, these men are actually all the Europeans I could find in Bangkok on one evening, and I’m there in the middle in the back. I ran around the city for several hours trying to round up enough people to make it look like I was in Italy or Greece, and I then I had to get them all to stick around long enough to have their picture taken with me.
They were friendly enough with me, willing to do me a favor in exchange for dinner and cigars, and they were certainly friendly with each other. Look at them all having such a great time! I’d been in a bind because I’d told a friend I’d visited Europe one summer in order to going on a trip with him, and eventually he wanted evidence that I’d actually been there like I said I had. I provided things I’d bought as gifts for family as proof, but he wanted photographs, and I came up with this at the last minute. Well, I guess it wasn’t the last minute, but it was a pretty close shave, if I do say so myself.
I had talked to him about visiting an eatery in Rome; someone had sent me a bunch of white hats and bow ties as a joke once (that’s another story entirely, let me tell you), so I dressed up the men as chefs and sous-chefs in order to make it look authentic. One of the guys even had a lovely, beautiful Spanish wife who managed to get us all into the same shot at the same time—well, except for that guy on the left—and snap a photo for me.
So, what you see here may look like one thing when it’s actually another (but that was the point).
This post is part of Flash Fiction February.