Two Smiling Following Me

Two smiling girls in Jakarta
Shot in the city of Jakarta, Indonesia Tetsu Ozawa

The two girls stood together and showed me their cute smile

It seemed to be conspicuous that I was walking through a residential area with a camera in hand, and two girls were following me. I guessed I stood out from the surrounding area when they saw unfamiliar foreigners who were not residents of the neighborhood. And then some perceptive children spotted and followed out of curiosity.

Once, when I was walking in a residential area in Cairo, Egypt, as I did here, children came up to me one by one. As I walked along, the number of children gradually increased, and eventually, they clumped which made me think I had become Pied Piper of Hamelin. They didn't ask me for money, but they walked in a lumbering manner, right when I turned right and left when I turned left.

Unfortunately, I couldn't take many children in Jakarta as I did in Cairo. Even though they were conspicuous, there might have been a difference in conspicuousness between Asian walking among Arabs and Asian walking among Asians.

When I turned around unexpectedly at the end of an alleyway, the two girls who had been following me looked a little startled. But when they realized that the camera was on them, they both smiled happily.


What is Pied Piper of Hamelin?

Despite the piper's success, the mayor reneged on his promise and refused to pay him the full sum (reputedly reduced to a sum of 50 guilders) even going so far as to blame the piper for bringing the rats himself in an extortion attempt. Enraged, the piper stormed out of the town, vowing to return later to take revenge. On Saint John and Paul's day, while the adults were in church, the piper returned dressed in green like a hunter and playing his pipe. In so doing, he attracted the town's children. One hundred and thirty children followed him out of town and into a cave and were never seen again. Depending on the version, at most three children remained behind: one was lame and could not follow quickly enough, the second was deaf and therefore could not hear the music, and the last was blind and therefore unable to see where he was going. These three informed the villagers of what had happened when they came out from church.

Where is Jakarta?




Shooting Date

Jan 2020

Posted On

August 31, 2020


Jakarta, Indonesia


Portrait Photography