Scared White Tourists January 23, 2008Posted by Michael in Travel.
We had a fun time last night, partying until three a.m. in some dives in San Pedro, Belize.
I had a brief, but interesting conversation on the dock outside a club we were at (the Tackle Box). I was just outside getting some air, smoking, looking at the boats, and I exchanged a few words with this little scruffy-looking black guy, then started to walk away.
He said: “Hey, big man, are you scared of me? Do I look scary?”
I stopped in my tracks, turned around and walked back to him, big smile on my face, stood real close, deliberately invading his personal space. I am about twice as big as he.
“No, you don’t scare me at all,” I said.
So then he politely offered to sell me some coke, which I politely declined. (I got offered ganja or coke five or six times last night.)
It bugged me though, that he thought I was probably intimidated by him just because he was a black guy alone with me at night on a dock in a foreign country. I guess what really bugged me is that he probably had good reason to feel that way. I’m sure he has made a friendly approach to hundreds of white tourists with nothing but a commercial transaction in mind, and correctly observed that many, if not most, are scared.
It reminded of the running joke at AOSHQ about Ace being afraid of brown people. Like must good jokes, it’s funny because there is a core of truth to the humor.