Seeing the rich and famous is something that happens around here from time to time: Barbara Eden was at a place near here the other day. As I mentioned I chatted with Nick Faldo at the gold tournament, and held the door for Clint Eastwoos too. My wife interacted with the congnoscenti of golf and Hollywood as she worked the Beach Club's front desk at the same tournament.
My rule is a simple one: I leave them alone if they want to be left alone, and smile and answer questions if they ask. If I were famous (far from it) and rich (ditto) I would appreciate being left alone, wouldn't you?
You (like ProfChiara) always start the most interesting discussions. Yes, I would want to be left alone.
Last year while dining in Carmel, Clint Eastwood was standing at the bar when my entire family walked in. My step dad engaged Clint... he must've said the right thing because they became ensconced in a short discussion (that I was stuck watching because of a foot traffic bottleneck that they created, and I was actually sort of glad of it because then I could be on hand to "rescue" him in case my parental units became overly zealous admirers who needed herding away, which thankfully didn't happen). Clint seemed to enjoy the chat (both guys the same age - old - same birthday, and my step dad went way back with him), so no harm, no foul, right? My mom who has never met a stranger had to put her gushy two cents in, so when it was my husband's and my turn to walk past him, we graciously ignored him. But then one of my sisters (who is very professional and totally knows better - so I have no idea what came over her) asked him for a photo, which he politely declined. I was mortified.
I would make one exception to bothering the rich and famous. If I ever run across Adam Levine, I'm going to ask him why I can't find on iTunes the Maroon 5 cover of Bill Wither's song from way back, "Lovely Day." I LOVE the Maroon 5 remake of that hit song, and am bummed that I can't buy it on iTunes!
What not on i Tunes? How about Amazon's MP3 collection?
As for Clint, he's a nice guy but obviously does not like to be chatted with except in rare cases. Back in the days of PSA, I found myself sitting next to him on a Monterey-LA flight. As I sat down he gave me the "Dirty Harry" stare and said, "Don't talk to me." I did not but he shook my hand as we got off the plane and gave me the "Callahan" nod of approval.
What a strange life it must be to have to cut perfect strangers off at the pass. "Don't talk to me." Just like that. Well, alrighty then. Good lookin' out, brother Clint.
Not sure celebrity is worth all of the perks. You might get to live in a glass mansion on a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean, but then you might also be a prisoner in your own home.
I have met him since and reminded him of that day with some relish--he was on his way to see an ex, one of many, and not a happy camper. Since I always got the same seat on PSA I thought I'd see him again but he got so famous he never again traveled with commoners. I met Dina, his wife, before they got married, when she was a local newscaster. Nice lady. He's known for his garrulousness, much of which is real.
Tend to run into the R&F most often in Washington DC (political types), So Cal (TV/Film) NYC (quite a mix), and all over the world traveling. My 1st memory of finding myself next to the R&F was in college, at the Biograph Theater in Georgetown when the man next to us leaned over and introduced himself as Sen. Charles Percy and wanted to know our opinion on the movie that just played, "Hearts & Minds" and Vietnam in general. I would have never recognized him otherwise. Ended up next to Jimmy Carter and his entourage at Wolf Trap - they had the box next to us. Not to hard to miss as they arrived by helicopter with a squad of secret service types, always identifiable by their suits and ear pieces. Sat next to Telly Savalas on my 1st flite to Nice after college graduation. Hadn't really recognized him till a stewardess told me, as many folks look very different in person than on camera. Also sat next to Sammy Davis Jr, his ex-wife and child, on his way from CA to Bos for Cancer treatment at Dana Farber Insitute, again did not recognize him till a stewardess pointed him out. Since I was right next to them disembarking, I was actually swept up in the security cordon around him exiting the airport as they thought we were all traveling together (fast airport exit ever in BOS). Checking into the Brussels Hilton I was right next to Tina Turner and we chatted while waiting. Had no idea who she was until the front desk clerk told me after she departed. Of course, some places your are just more likely to meet interesting people like the writers bar at Raffles over a Singapore Sling, or Grammarcy Tavern or Bistro Chat Noir in NYC.
Then there are the R&F that family interacts with at some level (get good insights by listening and the occassional active listening).
I think the key is that they are like us, initially flattered by the right type of attention, and annoyed by the wrong type or too much attention (it can be overwhelming).
I think respect and good manners that should be used everywhere with everyone is especially true for the R&F.
and like all travel experiences, its best to blend in and go with the flow, if you want to watch the locals (including the R&F) in action.
I never cease to be amazed at the kindness of strangers of all sorts and conditions, like the homeless man with whom I chatted at the laundramat recently while on a honey-do washing of down comforters--he could not have been nicer, or more interesting. Or the waiter at a local watering hole who had just come back from taking his family on their first ever vacation to Disneyland and stayed at the Anaheim Marriott. His children loved it, and I am sure that it cost him several weeks wages to do it, but he was so proud of the accomplishment. Or the local barista who gave me a free item today, and the npaid for it from her own funds. I tipped her the amount plus some as a return gift. It's those kind of rich and famous people that I most enjoy interacting with.
Some of my best travel experiences have been drivers that have befriended us out of curiosity, and taken us home to meet the family, and we have of course reciporcated with them. In my opinion, these are my most prized travel experiences.
In Bali, the local hotels have a 'taxi' that works permanently for the hotel. The car doesn't look like a typica taxi, just a fellow who is driving his personal car, and makes himself available to chauffer guests around. Our hotel sent their driver to pick us up at the airport. Immediately upon meeting him, and introductions around, he started telling us about the origins of his name, his family, all the sites we were driving past. When he dropped us off, he let us know that he could be contacted through the front desk and would be happy to take us anywhere we wanted to go. I had it in my mind that I wanted to try the Bemo, or local buses which are really vans that stop when you flag them down, and cost about 40 cents which turns out to be the local rate, and then there is another rate for foreigners. Since my ex sort of blended in and I look the foreign wife, I let him hand them the 8,000 IDR (80 cents) and do the talking. He spoke purposefully in a very accented english. They insisted we must speak english, but we shook our heads, so they cycled through about 12 languages trying to figure out which one. Every time they said do you speak english, he said 'leetle beet". Anyways they spent the entire trip from the hotel to Denpensar trying to sell us their driving services for $100 USD, and we pretended not to understand. So, we decided to take our hotel taxi driver up on his offer, as he was much more reasonable, and reliable. After our 1st day trip with him to Ubud, he invited us back to his house. We met his wife & kids. We got to see a typical Balinese house, the kids performed for us as every child must study the arts. We then took them out for dinner at the restaurant of their choice, and they then countered with a trip to the local temple to celebrate Galungan which might have been one of my most memorable travel moments.
In Penang, we got to know the doorman. He invited us to accompany him and his family to Thaipusam, the Tamil Indian hindu festival
In Kusadasi, it was our taxi driver who invited us back to meet his grandmother and have tea with her and the local neighborhood ladies.