Yes.. webcams make friends.. although in my case, its in a little bit more of an off-beat fashion.. you see, my desk at work sucks.. its basically like a 2-sided cubicle in the corner of the room, with the” open” side, facing the rest of this room, the doorway into the room, and the windows that are along the wall that look into the room.. sometimes I’ll be looking for something on the internet (internet use in Taiwan is equivalent to sleeping at your desk.. you’re not working, regardless of whether or not its work related) and listening to some music with my earphones when people walk up behind me without my knowledge.. so, when I’m not using the webcam to contact friends and family back home, I have it pointed at the doorway into the room, which would be, like, looking over my left shoulder.. I then open a video capture window, keep it in the corner of my screen (I use my laptop LCD and a 17″ monitor at work, can never have too much desktop space) so I can see people as they walk in.. anyhow, apparently, people are nosy by nature.. so when people are standing at my desk talking to me, their eyes are wandering… about 80% of my visitors see the video window and ask about it.. in some cases, there are those individuals who choose to act out childhood (or adult) fantasies of being on “the big screen”.. in any case.. I’m pretty quick on the draw (PrtScr key).. always ready to capture that special moment so I can crop the screen shot of that special individual..
I call this one the “Look Mommy, I’m on TV!” shot.. never talked to this individual before.. but all of a sudden she was my best friend.. asking about the webcam, were I bought it, what it can, do, and how much it costs.. the last question is the best.. not only do English speakers face language issues in Taiwan, you also face the Foreign Currency Exchange Issue.. where every price or figure you throw out is followed by a “US dollars?”.. so, in the case of this particular webcam, it cost me $12USD, or 399NTD.. when I told this girl, “it cost about 400”.. she shrieked, “US dollars?”.. I get the same response when I tell people I can get a decent used 92 Honda Civic in the US for about 100,000.. “US dollars?”
Notice this individuals eyes are not looking into the camera.. and this is after I pointed to the camera twice.. I dunno, maybe he was trying to get a closer look.. maybe he was looking for black heads.. I dunno.. but prior to my encounter with this individual, our exchanges have been limited to: “Zhao! good morning!”.. “zhao. good morning.”.. he came by two more times that day to peer into the camera.. but he had the same dumb look on his face so I didn’t feel it was necessary to capture more images of it..
This is my Indian friend.. thats right, your outsourcing foe.. take a good look.. he is taking your job.. anyhow, when he saw the video screen.. he couldn’t help himself but to dance around with his tongue hanging out.. I quietly hit the Print Screen key, opened up an image editor and pasted the screenshot for him to see.. he was a little embarassed to say the least.. but its a great motivational tool.. “hey Gaandu, I need you to add this column to this report”.. “Is that column documented in the functional specs?”.. “no, but do you think your boss has a good enough sense of humor that he would appreciate this picture of you with your tongue hanging out?”.. “I am understanding now..”.. see? instant friend! 😈