Invisible Ofelia

And, as much as I respect people and love kids, I sometimes want to scream “I am not just my skin color”. I am not an object to be taken endless pictures with. I am not a lucky charm, to be touched. I am not a walking bank. I am not a recipe book for all the western (junk) food. In fact, I don’t like being in pictures, and seeing that a complete stranger posts a picture of me on Facebook, just for bragging rights, enrages me (that being said, I have absolutely nothing against taking pictures with friends). I love my personal space and, while I love kids immensely (don’t know when did this happen), I feel violated when a crowd of kids forms around me and starts practically fighting over who can touch me. I hate it when kids (decently dressed and obviously well fed) start begging me money or when a stranger suggests I should start throwing money at the kids surrounding me. I hate it when people ask me about pizza, burgers, fried chicken and pasta and refuse to hear me when I tell them that it’s not the food I normally cook and that my traditional food is different (while I have absolutely no problem to share the recipe if they understand that). When people (not only kids), practically run after me, screaming “bule”, I feel dirty. When someone who I just met asks me to get Schengen visa, I feel used. When every mother who has a son (no matter what age) asks me to marry her son, I feel like meat for sale. And, after all of this, what irks me the most, is the fact that I have to be really careful not to offend someone. Because I have been screamed at for absolutely unintentionally insulting someone.
All of this is tiresome and sometimes ruins really happy moments. I understand that white people are rare here, I understand that I can be exciting, because I come from far away, I understand people who want to practice their English, I understand people who ask about Europe and my culture. What gets on my nerves is people who refuse to see anything beyond my skin color and the stereotypes they have attached to it.
But even this is just a moment after a particularly bad case, this too shall pass, and it’s not enough to ruin my experience, put me off anything or change the way I think about Batak people. Honestly, I don’t mind smiling to a kid, shaking a hand on my way to the shop or even tell about pizza to a stranger. It’s just huge parties in days when I want to be sitting home and doing things on my own.


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