Too many photos

With this period of non-travel and lock down I thought it would be a great idea to organise my photos and maybe scan them and keep digital copies. Well talk about how to lose hours of your day into a black hole. If you are going to scan photos you should put a caption on them or at least put them in a group or a folder, right? Well what if you can’t remember where they were taken?

Yes I must say that I am spoilt enough to have travelled to so many places that sometimes they become a blur and then I find myself saying to my husband “Where was this?” He usually has the answer. In fact I am doubly spoilt by the fact that my husband does all the crappy stuff when we are travelling – like handling the currency and doing the tipping. I am usually too busy staring at the people around me and eaves dropping on conversations. We will sit down at a pavement cafe in, I dunno, Split Croatia and the first thing I do is check out the people around me. I am always interested in the locals but very often you won’t find that many of them in a touristy spot. Then I turn my attention to my fellow tourists and if they happen to speak English, well I just can’t help follow their conversation. I will then turn to my husband and say to him in Afrikaans (our secret language) “Oh my god, you can’t believe what this woman is ordering.” or “This guy has just crapped on the waiter for not having any grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu.”

My husband is always bewildered by this. He just cannot understand how I can pick up on a conversation going on behind my back. It’s not noseyness, I promise, it is just curiosity.

So you can see why I get distracted by people and therefore often remember a place not from its castles, churches or boulevards – but by the people I met there.

I have no idea which temple this was in, or even which city but I do know it was India (that’s something at least). But I sure remember this guy. What a hoot. He was smoking something here which was making him very mellow. I am not sure if he could speak English because he just kept smiling and laughing every time I spoke to him. He probably went home at the end of the day and said to his wife “OMG what a day at the temple today. Had this crazy English lady who kept talking to me and you know how I hate talking to strangers so I just kept puffing on my shisha and pretended I was stoned out of my brain.”

Now I do remember exactly where this was – the Sahara Desert in Morocco! This cute camel guide took us for a walk in the desert. He could speak very little English and was better in French. Of course my French is terrible but it didn’t matter. He was so cute with big dimples and I could imagine that as soon as he got home he got rid of the keffiyeh (head scarf) and djellaba (long loose kaftan) and donned his Drake t-shirt before heading out on the town. I bet his mom was shouting after him not to spend all the money he got in a tip from us!

Oh yes I remember these. Istanbul! The lovely lady on the left had gone to one of the food trucks and had purchased this HUGE baked potato with all the trimmings. I wonder how she could stay so slim and gorgeous looking. Then the next day we came across a whole crowd of kids dressed up like they were going for their first communion. The parents were happy for me to have a picture with him but this kid did not look happy at all – even though he was all dressed up. It was only afterwards I found out that this gathering was a circumcision ceremony – no wonder the poor lad looked upset.

The market in Malta. You know – I just can’t pass a good market by and I needed a new shirt. So I hid behind the hanging clothes while I tried on this top. The old lady running the place was getting impatient. She kept saying “Gud, very gud. You buy. Very gud”. I wasn’t sure – as you can see by my face. As you can see by her face she had had enough. The way she is looking at me tells me that she didn’t think the shirt was very good either. Look at the direction of her eyes. Was she looking at my stomach? Maybe, but I was too far gone by then. Had to buy it. I don’t think I would have escaped alive. Maybe you have seen this shirt in Value Village in Calgary ‘cos that’s where it ended up.

So you see – these pictures of people who I have met along the way bring me right back to the moment and I know exactly where I am – even if I don’t know the currency in use and I have no idea how much that cost in Euros or Dollars. That’s my husband’s part of the ship – thanks Honey!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. I laughed so hard reading this because I also eavesdrop on conversations at neighboring tables! And that man in India——-I have his photo as well! Actually won a photo contest for me!

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  2. Another great story Lesley! When my husband retired a few years ago, he decided to take on the exhausting job of organizing photos. That didn’t last long (; And by the way …… I think that t-shirt looks smashing on you!!

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  3. I’m in the process of scanning my 25 or so photo albums from the old days (before digital). I’m only on album no. 4, so this will be on ongoing venture. It’s a good thing I’m retired! I put them into a Slideshow format, so that titles or brochures or admission tickets can easily be included. Then later, when I want to view the album I just have to hit “Play Slideshow” and it will play via Apple TV Airplay on my television. With music!
    Larry James

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    1. Wow Larry, I am impressed. What program are you using? I tried photomyne which can crop a whole page but the quality is not great. I do think it is a great idea to go digital because no-one looks at the old albums any more. I will maybe have to wait until I retire!

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  4. OMG… LOL… I have been retired for 6 years. I spent hours and hours organizing my mom’s pictures and still not completed. Spent hours in the den scanning so many pictures. Ran out of steam after we got thru her memorial 4 years ago. I have started going thru my albums and throwing out a whole bunch of ‘much the same’ pictures or just plain crappy ones. Still have many albums and 3 photo boxes. And I’m at a stage were when I go thru moms, I have a bunch of much the same ones because of family gatherings. It’s mind numbing. I have used Photomyne and not bad but found I could only do it on my dinning room table when there is natural south light filtering thru. Moral of the story…. I continue to drag my feet on this as prefer knitting, reading, walking…….. sigh.

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    1. Oh Sheila, I feel your pain. Just reading through your post makes my head ache ! 🙂 And yes all those repetitive photos and some of them I look at it and I think “who the hell is this?” …. no idea….

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