So I get that I look a lot different than the people in this country, that I’m a distinct minority here. People stop in their tracks when they see us. Some take pictures, some want to have you take their pictures. Most just stare. They walk with you, almost like they are your shadow. They can be less than a foot away, and not say a word.
While other people will approach to ask you, what country that I’m from. I answer America or the United States. They smile broadly, thrilled that I’m taking the time and talking to them. Upon finding out where I’m from, they offer their name, I offer mine. This dialogue can generate an excitement as others will come over and witness the exchange. Then they offer their names, hands, etc. After they know my name and I theirs, they just stare.
But the really strange thing about the entire situation is that all I’m trying to do is buy a sprite at the market.
As soon as our group steps out onto the smelly, hot sidewalk, all eyes are on us. It’s surreal. It’s like we’re a combination of royalty, famous and the first Caucasians these people have ever seen – in either the city or a village. Someone is always watching. People in transit must get whiplash as they pass by…In stores we can be shuffled ahead to the front of the line or other hotel guests are asked to wait for another elevator b/c we get to go before them. And when you refuse to be treated this way, they won’t accept it. They won’t take “no” for an answer. Rather than make a scene or be considered rude, it’s easier to just do what they’re asking.
It’s unnerving but that life here in the ‘Desh…at least everyone is friendly…but it certainly gives you an insight on what minorities all over the world must feel…