Monday, July 21, 2014

Malaga, Spain Day 1

I just landed in Europe, ni**a!

I know, vulgar. Yet, the Rick Ross lyric seems like the only apropos quote for this journey. As Black people, we don't land anywhere. We don't have the funds to most of the time. When we touch down in another continent, we've made it and we want you to know.

Anyway, it's me, Lindsay, her mom, her sister Candace, and her friend, Tiffany for this one week trip.

I'm in Spain. I'm ready for the small streets. The villas, all that.

But no.

This place is confused. Is it American, Latin American, European? From the rental car, I see Fords on the road, but I also see Citroens, Meganes, and Clios. I see authentic eateries and I see Burger King. I see palm trees and cacti. The houses are made of stucco (that's what that's called right?).  Or is it adobe?  Acrobat Reader?  Most of them are gated.

(Hotel view)

I can't help but be conscious of race here. It's like being a Black man in the American South, but worse. There, we're one in ten. Here, we're one in a hundred.

The only people of color I see here are Africans selling illegal sunglasses and pocketbooks. I think to myself, Great, we're the bootleggers, caricatures of ourselves. Look how they do us.

So yeah, race is a big theme...
At first, I don't feel it at all.

I haven't noticed anyone staring at me, I tell Lindsay at the airport.

The kids have been, she says.

I start noticing them as soon as she says that. One boy at baggage claim leans in and whispers to his mother. I'm guessing he said something like, did you see the black guy in dreads?

His mother nods.

We're on the restaurant strip by the resort, when some British youth no more than eight years old,
goes, Jamaica?

Supermoon on restaurant strip
United States, I say.

Oh sorry, he says. Because of the head.

The hair he means (let's hope).

I want to shake him up and say, Didn't mummy and daddy teach you racial manners?

Man, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I miss American white kids? Just kidding.


  1. very interesting. can't wait to see how people react to me in Japan.

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