Saturday, January 10, 2009

Anglo on Market Day

A major hazard of being white in a market town, especially on Saturday, is being endlessly approached by people trying to sell you stuff. Coconuts, sunglasses, sweaters, bags, fried fish with the head on… I mentioned today how nice it would be to have a label on my hat that said, “I’m not a tourist,” and caught myself. How many Black men in the U.S. are sick of being treated as criminals? How many Latinas have wanted a “Don’t assume I only speak Spanish” tag? Paul chimed in with a name for our current problem, “Walking While White.” - KD


Kay said...

Gotta love those "suck some snails for me, eh?" comments! LOL! (Yay Bev). Great wisdom from your post about labels. So true. I lucked out, sort of, in that everyone thought I was Portuguese while I lived in Portugal. I say sort of, because then they assumed I could communicate in fluent Portuguese. So untrue. Good "problem" to have though. A & R are definitely brave with the schooling in Spanish.

And to the horror of some of my friends, I LOVE Mister Rogers. Always have. So sweet. :)

Patrick said...

Hi guys, I'm joining in with the blog following disciples. Sounds like you are all in the thick of things. When we went to Portugal, I remember feeling a sense of responsibility to make everything right -- and a fear of being somewhat helpless in a situation in which I did not totally know the rules.

We had trouble getting things like utilities set up because I did not have a tax id, but it was not clear that we could get a tax idea without the right info. Typical setting for a bureaucratic nightmare. Luckily, a Portuguese speaking graduate student came with me to the tax office and just when things were looking darkest, the clerk and she came to an understanding and out came our tax id number. Cell phones, etc. rapidly followed.

It is the tension that resolves into something great that makes these experiences so meaningful. Being in an EU country has nothing on being in rural Ecuador, so I am really impressed by how much you guys are pushing your comfort zone.

Brother David said...

LWG - Living While Gringo!

I'm going into blog withdrawal here. No news for three days. What's the word?

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