What I Hated the Least Today 93/365: Baggage


I’ve been in need of a professional stock portrait photo forever. My standard profile pic, a bathroom selfie of me holding in one hand my Lenovo (as opposed to iPhone) with the flash in the process of firing and in the other hand a wriggling cat, isn’t probably inductive to presenting me as a trustworthy professional whom you’d hire. Unless you’re looking to hire a stand-up comedian or a cat herder.

Now, get the mental image of my bathroom selfie out of your mind, I was just testing your gullibility. Of course I don’t use the above described photo on my profiles, I don’t even have a photo like this. See, this proves that I am untrustworthy after all. Which is a harsh way of saying that I use my right to exploit poetic licence.

Today I had an appointment with an acquaintance who happens to be a professional photographer. I arranged with him to have my new and improved business style portrait photos taken. Naturally, I also required that he reduce in post-processing those bodily parts that need reducing (my baby bump, which is not a baby bump) and add to the bodily parts that need expanding (the above-the-not-baby-bump area).

I took a train to get to the photographer’s studio and a suspicious bag containing an extra outfit for the photoshoot. The idea is to try to impress on the customer the misled belief that I own more than one set of work appropriate clothes. I struggled with the unwieldy bag during the trip and was expecting that someone would alert the police that there was a creepy woman on the train with a bag potentially containing explosives.

The worst part is that I have one of those faces that always look guilty – my constant facial expression is like I just stole your kitten – and the bag did actually contain dangerous weapons in the form of stilettos. I nearly murdered myself by mistake when I was handling the heels and was trying to wear them for the photo – otherwise, sadly, I find that heels have an adverse effect on my balance and don’t wear them.

As I got out of the train and was waiting for a bus connection, a fellow creepy guy with a suspicious bag approached me. Given our shared baggage, he clearly felt a sense of affiliation. He appeared like he’d had a shower this week and his clothes probably didn’t originate from a dumpster, so I decided I wouldn’t run away at once. He introduced himself as a hippie. What the heck? I remained suspicious but let him talk.

It turned out that the self-proclaimed hippie was earning for his pot by selling Chinese luck charms, which was what his bag contained (besides pot). As he was explaining the beneficial effects of his charms, a bus pulled to the kerb and nearly ran him over. That much to luck charms. I pointed out the discrepancy, but he insisted that without the charm, he’d be dead now. Whatever. I appreciated that he didn’t pretend he was collecting money for charity. He appreciated that I appreciated it. We had a charming chat which ended abruptly as I made it clear that I wasn’t giving him any money.


Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

31 thoughts

    1. I’m not sure that you’ll get so see the photos, but for starters, I hope I’ll get to see the photos 🙂 I haven’t got the results yet. Maybe there was no usable photo… Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I love this type of stories. I’ve had so many similar experiences, like you with that guy. One just came to mind now, but I think I’ll save him for the blog. I need all ideas I can get 🙂

    After this post, you just cannot keep those photos away from us, your readers! Heh!


    1. Your story as you blogged it is outstanding. I’m glad my own meagre story gave you the idea to share it!

      It didn’t occur to me that you might be asking to see the photos 😉 Silly me. I haven’t got the photos yet, so I’m still in the stage of hopeful anticipation. I don’t photograph well.


          1. He earns his living with photography, so yes, he is quite busy. He said he had a wedding photoshoot this weekend, so no time for editing my pictures 😦


  2. The last year i worked had my portrait done TWICE…..after being ignored for 38 years in the final one I was in demand…..one student did me as drawn portraits which are wonderful I have to say…..the other student did a photo portfolio…..thankfully I have them….but I did find it all so very humbling…..
    Loved your story, you do attract them don’t you….must be that guilt ridden face???
    Have a good day Mara….


    1. It’s a funny experience to have one’s portrait taken, isn’t it? The worst case scenario is when the result isn’t any good after all the awkward posing. To say that I was wooden during my photoshoot would be an offence to wood – I was more like an unbending metal stick.

      I’ve found that I do indeed attract a weird kind of people. It must be my guilty face. People are looking for fellows in crime 😮

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes there are things one just has to get done and in your case it was getting the portrait done. I’m sure your perception of how you went and looked would not be shared by those who know and love you. Our take on ourselves is often so harsh even the weird people look at us in surprise. I have to say I found the photographs taken of me were amazing. I never knew I could look that good. Photoshop can work wonders.
        Enjoy your weekend too, mine is just beginning.


        1. You have a point. I’m sometimes surprised to learn that people like about me what I hate the most about myself. Insofar as someone can be said to like me, that is.

          I assume you photograph well, judging from your rather elegant Gravatar picture 😉 I’m not as much worried about looking ugly in the picture as rather about looking unnatural and wooden. Which is how I felt when posing for the camera.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That gravatar is one of the set my student took of me in 2013, I have faded considerably since then….elegant has moved more towards retired couldn’t give a rats arse about looks….sad isn’t it…


          2. Nope, no middle ground for me! I hate to admit that I don’t hate teaching. I like to have fun with those kids, they’re so gullible that they have it coming. One of them, for example, kept on calling me professor because he didn’t realise there’s a range of academic titles, so I told him that unless I look like I’m over sixty, it makes sense that I can’t be a professor. The poor thing took my word for it that titles are distributed based on age.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I’m wondering about too… The photoshoot did take place but I’m still waiting for the results. I do hope there will be at least one usable picture. It was so awkward to be in front of the camera rather than behind it that I would hate to repeat it any time soon.


  3. Lol, carrying a suitcase on the train and thinking that the police might call you out for carrying something suspicious. You know, I think of that sometimes when I get on the train with a backpack bulging with my work jackets and stuffed monkey. Or think that passengers will be annoyed that my backpack brushes against them if every 😀

    I hope the photos turned out well in the end. I’m not one for photoshoots – I’m a very awkward poser, or very awkward at posing whichever way you want to put it 😀


    1. You’re a very considerate traveller, worrying about the other passengers. Few people do and just let their baggage and their dogs do what they will.

      I’m such an awkward poser that I thought I was having a stroke during the photoshoot. I was quite paralysed. I hope I’ll get my pictures soon – and that they will be worth the pain and humiliation 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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