This article investigates what happens with leisure experience between cultures when the Mursi of southwestern Ethiopia meet with international tourists. I propose that instead of regarding leisure as a fixed human condition within one society, it might fruitfully be approached as a process that evolves when different societies meet, i.e. as a constantly emerging (and disappearing) practice in cross-cultural encounters. Tourism, studied broadly from an anthropological point of view, offers an excellent field for this investigation. The Western ideology of leisure, mobilized by tourists in non-Western settings, is a good entry point to make tangible how societies understand leisure pursuits in intercultural encounters.