19 February 2010

I'll never live like common people...

There is a town with over 350,000 people in it. Only two of them are Caucasian.

And I am one of them.

It is a strange experience. People stare at me on the street wherever I go. I feel raw and exposed. And rich. Filthy, filthy rich. I can make more money in a day back home that they do in a month.

And apparently I am beautiful... my white skin and big nose makes me the most desirable woman in town.

Oh, the prospect of money and a free trip outta here helps too.

In the house where I stay, I don't feel so strange. I play with the children, I talk and joke with the adults. But then someone else washes my clothes, cleans up after me and cooks for me. I have never boarded with anyone before, and can't help feeling like a colonial with servants. It is an awful feeling. I try and help and they let me a bit, but the combination of 'honoured guest' and 'paying guest' makes them feel worse if I do. They are not doing following their cultural norms and not earning their money if I help.

But when I go out, men stare at me. All. The Time. All the way through town. I hate it.

The crushing poverty of the people around me makes me feel ashamed of my good fortune. But then I remember the hardship, poverty and hunger my family endured as refugees, and I feel grateful. Immensely grateful for the sacrifices they made and the hard work they did to give me such a good easy life. I hope I don't ever take it for granted again.

Despite all that, I am happy and content here. Being here is a blessing for me. And I can understand why some people look upon me with resentment or desire. I am grateful to have made good friends, grateful to be given the opportunity to be here. But I can't get the song Common People outta my brain..

"you will never understand how it feels to live your life
with no meaning or control
and with nowhere else to go...."

2 comments:

Stinkypaw said...

I'm sure you'll get much more out of this experience on a humane level than many of us ever would...

Summer Rose said...

{{BIG HUGS}} I'm with stinkypaw be happy for what you have, for many do not. And yes all blessings no matter how big or small they do make us smile, no matter how bad we feel.
S.R.