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Saturday, October 29, 2011


Guarding the gold

We were walking up Campbell Street in Georgetown's Chinatown district. This street contains several jewellery shops that deal in gold. In our group there was a three-year-old boy. We passed a security guard who put a hand out to give the child a 'five'. The boy didn't quite get it right so I stopped to show him how to do it. I wasn't even thinking about the stranger project but his Mum said to me, 'This guy—for your strangers.'

Hey, yeah. Why not?

I asked if I could take his photograph and put it on the internet. He was happy about that. Like my previous two strangers, he didn't have internet so was not able to check out his photo or the project for himself. In the photo he is trying to look serious to fit his role but actually he was a friendly guy who smiled a lot except when the camera was pointed at him. I asked his name and he pointed to his name tag which simply stated 'Wahar'. Don't know if that is his personal or family name. While he liked to chat his English was only basic.

He was carrying a gun which he assured me was loaded. I took a couple of shots trying to get the gun in the picture. There's another on my flickr page that shows him up close without a gun.

During our chat I learned the following about Wahar: He is 65 and unmarried. He was previously in the Malaysian army and proudly showed me a photo of himself in uniform and with a guard dog. He and two colleagues guard a row of jewellery shops in Campbell Street.

This picture is #3 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page. My 100 Strangers set.

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