Negative blabber alert, just needed to vent. Optimistic post coming soon
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I am home. And I must say it's great to be back! It has been a great adventure, just B and I, him and me against the world. Or the Asian continent, to be exact.
I've never put a photo of myself online but some of you may know I have an Asian appearance. This was, however, the first time I ever set foot on that part of the world because my parents were born in South America. Nobody knows fo' sho sure but we are said to have Indonesian, Dutch, Chinese, Native American and Moluccan blood. I was born in Europe and I always felt right at home. I really think we've reached a very high level of equality out here. I've never been to North America, Australia or Africa so I don't know about that but I've been to Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia this vacation and it's a whole different kettle of fish out there.
B is a 6 feet tall, 195 pounds heavy white dude. I am a 5 foot 1 inch (that inch makes a world of difference;-), 97 pounds heavy, lil' brown thang. Let me tell you, Asia sure is not ready for a couple like us! People were gawking at me everywhere we went! And not just looking like you do when someone has an eccentric outfit or something like that but really impolite, long stares. I read in the Lonely Planet that Asian women are perceived as prostitutes when they travel with a caucasian partner in Asia. But it also said that it was better now that they got more used to seeing couples like us but it was way worse than I thought or hoped.
People stopped walking just to stare at me. One time in Bangkok we were eating and three waitresses stood behind B, about 4 feet from him and just stared at me the whole entire meal. We confronted a group of young people who were exceptionally rude and asked them why they looked at me like that but they didn't answer us, all they could give us were these stupid, empty expressions on their faces.
The first few weeks I had lots of fighting spirit and we talked about it and it was like, "I don't care if you think I'm a whore, I have worked stupid office jobs and saved for a whole year for this vacation and B and I are splitting the costs 50/50, and you Asians are just really short-sighted and stupid, and I pity you because the power of equality is nowhere near ours, so up yours!". But after 3 weeks of not being treated like the (foul-mouthed) lady that I am, like I'm used to in the beloved EU, I got really homesick. It feels so unreal to be discriminated against in a country where people look a lot like you and be fully accepted by people whose physical properties are the exact opposite of yours.
B was treated like a king, because white equals money to them. I can't even count the times we were ripped off, they were so many. One time we wanted to get on a night bus, and we had to buy an extra ticket for B's bag, because they said it was too big. Hello? Everybody had bags like us! I understand because the people who work non-educated jobs make around 100 dollars a month. And they see the tourists who make far more than that and figure we can spare it. We can, of course, but it's really sour when a bartender who's very nice to you and you think he's your friend just rips you off.
This is a very negative post, our vacation had lots of good, fine, wonderful elements in it, but that can not be described with words. You have to see the 10 million pictures we took, the nature on that continent is amazingly beautiful. But B has our camera, so they'll be coming very soon. Of course we also met really nice Asian people, but I wish we'd met more of them.
So now I'm back. I have no job (this pattern is killing me:o) and no student loan. I contacted a few temp agencies already today and I'm sure there's another job just around the corner. Next monday is my last meeting at the faculty, I'm very looking forward to that.
It feels like a little piece of heaven here in my own home, my own town. I spent the evening with my Dad, who's leaving again for a few months. I was very happy to hug him again and I really can't wait to meet up with my friends. It's 5:04 AM right now, so I'd better hit the sack.
Labels: Amazement all around, My favourite things, The mirror
• Posted by: Catlin
• Posted At: 6:54 PM
Anonymous had this to say:
I hear ya--you can have a great time in a vacation spot, but still meet total assholes. I LOVE going to Dublin, but you cannot avoid ugliness with some drunk every so many hours. You just have to try and ignore them--not easy-- drunks do not like to be ignored... and they are everywhere--loose on the streets, being loud in the cinemas and in the shops and tea rooms.
The worst thing is when the drunk decides to befriend YOU.
Of course one drunk is probably easier to deal with than a whole load of yahoos thinking you are a fallen woman...but I think you took it pretty well, overall.
- January 30, 2008 at 9:52 AM
Just Beachy had this to say:
Nice to see you back.
When I went to Jamaica last year, I came back with a post and attitude much like this one...I did not like it AT All.
You should come to North America...No one would even notice you or any differences.
- January 31, 2008 at 6:01 AM
d. chedwick bryant had this to say:
NYC would welcome you with open arms!
- January 31, 2008 at 9:20 AM
Catlin had this to say:
I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one with these kinds of travelling-traumas. I really wanted to understand the people and really tried not to be judgemental but it's so hard when you're being judged all day every fuckin' day by people you've never met before.
I really have to come to the U.S. Maybe next vacation.
- February 1, 2008 at 7:35 AM
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