Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back in the saddle pt 10

I feel better today, not 100% but good enough to go out, not good enough to eat.

Just found out how MUCH that Guy doesn’t like me. It seems there are 2 RELAX hotels. There’s the RELAX ‘Don’t do it’ Hotel of the third floor, that I’m on. And theres the RELAX Hotel on 2 and below that’s a REAL hotel. New carpet, double closets, real bathroom etc. etc. etc. and they have NO lizards! Mine is the lower end 1940’s special that Humphrey Bogart must have come thru on his way to Casablanca—and nothing has been changed since then.

This was the one time I could have acted a little more American and well, not complain but just inquire about the room condition. Doesn’t matter now, I’ve named the lizards and I’d probably miss them.

I find the Africans are terribly inefficient and it drives me crazy, but it’s easy to forgive them because they are so kind. In our fast moving efficient lives it’s easy to forget what basic human decency and graciousness is, especially when you’re Black in America. We become so use to the subtleties and stress of racism it becomes a part of your normal day. You don’t even realize it until you’re away from it.

In the states when Black people have to deal with authority figures like police, guards etc. you know you are more than likely treated with suspicion, contempt or at best ignored. (see driving while Black) If you ask questions or need help then you are an annoyance, that is, unless you are with white people. Then the kind voice ensues. This goes for Black or white authority figures.

In Africa when I would come in contact with authority figures or need help or just walking through the door (I was usually with other Black Africans so they did not necessarily see the ‘American’ me first) everyone was polite and helpful. People greet you with kindness, like cops talk to white people in the USA (they serve and protect everyone from us, cause we are always the bad guy). I found it unnerving at first and it kept happening, “Bonjour” “Bon Soir” A smile, a nod. Damn, is this how white people feel all the time? What was more amazing Black men here were not fearful of the police and they don’t feel like they are seen as the bad guy. That is an amazing load off your shoulders, a load you didn’t even realize you were carrying until the weight is lifted. Whew.

I never knew I was unconsciously approaching authority like a child that is use to being hit and is grateful when they are not beaten, even tho the child has done nothing to be beaten for. I’m going to enjoy this now because I know it will all come to an end when I step off the plane at O’Hare airport. When I get there I’m going to keep my mouth shut, ask no questions and pretend I too am loved.

No comments:

Post a Comment