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Just before the storm | by Alex Vinter
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Just before the storm

The storm I refer to is because of what I shot after this photo. I walked around the corner from my house on the way back to work. I was proud with some good photos and walked to the road. Blocking my path was this old chinese bus which I thought was a good photo oppurtunity. The photo didn't come out so well as I was too close and was running late for work. The driver seemed distressed about something and he signalled to me. I kept walking as I thought he was angry for taking a picture of his old as hell bus. He got out and he was wearing a military uniform. He motioned to me spouting Chinese about god knows what. I thought maybe I was going to get acosted again, like earlier when I was taking a picture of the moon apparently nearby a army base! So anyway I showed him the photo and he asked me to delete it (maybe because it was so bad). And he seemed happy. I walked to work and a few minutes later a car screetched up and another army got out shouting like crazy at me. He took my photo and he was questioning me! I told him I didn't understand and I continued to work. He followed me all the way to work untill I took him to see my boss. He demanded the camera to see the images. I told them no way is he touching this camera! So we downloaded the images onto a nearby computer because he didn't believe I didn't have the picture anymore. So we downloaded all the images onto the computer and he started seeing how much of an asshole he was being. He sulked away from the computer when he realised he was wrong and muttered a muted sorry and went on his foreigner bashing ways! The outcome of the story was that I have to be more careful of what I shoot from now on, as the military base has many interests in the area. The original photo was of a 50 year old bus with two elderly passengers!! I couldn't believe it. The sensitivity of the confrontation was due to three Taiwanese spies having being caught last week in the same area. The chinese translator refused to translate my parting comment to the officer saying "when's the last time you saw 007 taking pictures of a bus with two elerly passengers 20 metres away in broad daylight?". I don't think this is the last I'll here of these guys. And thank god they didn't link me to me giving a finger to a military vehicle earlier this week.... fun times in China...


Hope you enjoy this pic. It's with my new lens! I love it!

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Taken on December 28, 2005