My neighbors are suspicious of me

I take my own blog photos, which results in me stomping around in my outfit looking for a decent place to stand around and snap photos. My equipment simply consists of a tripod, my DSLR and a small remote. To me, this is minimal and harmless but to my neighbors it is “OMG ARE YOU AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT TAKING PHOTOS OF OUR HOMES AND POSTING OUR ADDRESS ONLINE AND EXPLOITING OUR CHILDREN?!”

Okay, maybe not that entirely, but it’s what I thought the past couple of times a concerned neighbor questioned me while setting up for blog photos. The common theme was, “Are you working for the city and taking photos of our homes?”

And my camera was facing this background:

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No, no I am not. I am facing a tall fence covered in leaves, not the inside of Frau Müller’s Badezimmer, nor her brick-framed address number.

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And now my face, not your street name nor your children.

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Are these bricks in the ground giving away too much information too? Will someone be able to figure out the exact coordinates of your tacky yellow house and rock garden?

I’m a little bitter.

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Let’s observe this vanilla-ass outfit too. Oma’s oatmeal sweater, a c/o dress I’m wearing as a top because my body is currently a lava lamp, a basic blanket scarf I bought because it’s warm and was cheap as hell at Primark and a pair of black booties I have been wearing since Morning Ink’s conception.

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Top: c/o SammyDress
Cardigan: Hollister
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: Primark

My boyfriend and his parents assured me that people are taking advantage of the refugee situation as a chance to question anything suspicious in their area. Fine, I get that, especially after the sexual assaults in Köln on New Year’s. However, we all agreed that it is foolish to stop and boldly question a young woman in normal clothes standing in front of a camera, and to then talk about it with the neighbors as if I am some domestic threat.

“We’ve seen you around the neighborhood with your camera and want to know what you’re doing.”

I am not one to assume racial profiling, but I couldn’t help but ask my German boyfriend if they’re maybe stopping to talk to me because I have dark skin and features. The only other time I dealt with racism was in Germany. Is there a chance that it’s happening again?

I’m maybe saying too much and jumping to outrageous conclusions, but I am now just as suspicious of them as they are of me.

  • Lydia Sifuentez Moreno

    So many people on edge right now. It will pass. Besides, you’re beautiful and I’ve never seen a beautiful terrorist.

  • Jeeze! People are crazy. You’d think they could tell which direction your camera was facing…lol. So sorry you have to deal with them! You should make business cards for your blog and hand them out when people question you. 😉

  • ellen ross

    OH MY GOD Hahaha i can totally relate. i feel like i need to hide and take pics so no one thinks im up to no good haha
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    http://www.askawayblog.com

  • Michelle

    Sorry that’s happening to you. In light of recent events, I think most people are on edge and suspicious. I’ve only visited Germany once but in my experience, they’re a bit more direct in their dialogue and don’t sugarcoat or apologize as much as North Americans do. But I’m Canadian and we kind of apologize a lot.

    • Leah

      Since this post I have met more nice people when taking photos, who were okay with me being around. So I am just going to guess that there are some (who all seem to be mothers) who are just being cautious, and I guess that’s fine. While I still think that I am an odd person to be suspicious of, I can respect that me and my camera are new for them, and that yeah, sure, anyone can be dangerous. Thanks for the feedback 🙂