Unconditional photo opportunity

     Unconditional SurrenderSometimes you don’t have to take an airplane or even cross the county line to experience the satisfaction and fulfillment of international travel.  In our case, the international experience came to us.
     One gloriously balmy morning in January I took my daughters to the San Diego waterfront to catch a glimpse of “Unconditional Surrender,” unofficially known as the Kissing Sailor statue.  The 25-foot sculpture has been on loan to the City of San Diego and may be returned to its owner in the near future.  I wanted to take some pictures of the girls posing by the tourist trap before it gets carted off.  So did the Chinese.
     When we arrived at the Tuna Harbor Park parking lot, nary a vehicle was in sight. Some friendly homeless gentlemen were congregated around a bench, chatting and enjoying the breathtaking views of the harbor.  Employees of the nearby fish restaurant were offloading supplies from a delivery truck.  We had clearly arrived before the regular hustle and bustle. The girls explored the grassy area and I got some unobstructed shots of the sculpture.  Easy enough.  Then two busses pulled up and giddy Asian tourists poured out, smiles and cameras in hand.  Within minutes, a small group congregated around my 8-month-old darling.  They were all grins as they gestured at their cameras and my daughter.  How could I deny them a photo of a local baby in her native habitat?  I nodded and stepped aside as they lined up and took turns having their photos taken with my good-natured, willing baby.  It could have just as well been me, arriving from across the ocean on a perfect day, happening upon a Chinese mother with her two sweet babies, obligingly sharing an understanding smile and photo-op.  That would surely make me feel warmly welcomed.  I hope the Chinese felt the same.

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