Will the real whites in London please stand up?
Heathrow’s lounge looked as it probably would if it were in an Asian country such as India or Pakistan (I guess 🙂 My Indian (loosely defined) friends were everywhere one looked, the seats, kiosks, walkways etc
And I wondered into one of those flash kiosks at the airport where of course Elvis (the bandit) graciously parted me with my 1 pound.
And T-Mobile ripped me off by selling me a 1-pound SIM card with no credit on it for 10 pound.
There is no true detribalized or deracialized person. It’s just degrees that differ. I have said it before, that the actual process of trying to see everyone as equal (no colour) already implies that the person’s “difference” is apparent to you in ways that differ from how a fellow of the same race would think. I noticed that African (loosely defined) taxi drivers automatically gravitated towards blacks they see, and taking the Yoruba’s saying literarily “Afoju jo rawa” – some even automatically guess your tribe and speak to you in Yoruba for example – I am sure this sometimes fail when they wrongfully identify a fellow sojourner from home. They appear very helpful too – the African is a warm, gregarious, sociable soul on the average anyway. Either from hoping they will get my custom or not, at least I was able to call my brother free on 2 separate persons mobile phones – the first actually offered his phone when he saw me trying to call from one of the commercial terminals. Yes, the calls were free to them, but it was still heartwarming. They seem to treat people of other races the same, but will the other people treat the blacks the same? Mixed in with the basic instinct of self-preservation, mistrust of outsiders and ensuring the survival of the group is probably our track record of being 419s etc. It’s like, if a black man brushes past you, your credit card is automatically overdrawn, your bank account emptied, your credit history a mess, and your phone hijacked all at once! What paranoia! 🙂
I asked one of the security staff hanging about in the walkways where I could get a SIM card and he subjected me to quite an interesting question and answer session – he was pleasant enough but I am sure at a subconscious level, he would have been happy to nab an illegal black alien if possible. If there were no racial undercurent, no matter how unintentional or uncounscious, how come my simple question led to a host of questions from him for which I had to supply answers, only after which he then directed me to where I could buy a SIM?
Where are you coming from – Nigeria
What do you do – IT/Telecomms
Did you pay cash for your (plane) ticket – yes
Was it your money or did you borrow it – mine, I work
What’s the purpose of your visit – holiday
How long will you be staying – 3 weeks
Will you be doing anything else while you are here – no
Where will you be staying – with my brother
Where does your brother live – SW London
I am sure if I was white, he wouldn’t ask me all these questions – afterall, I was already through immigration (very jovial old guy and asked very few questions, except to call me the VISA guy when he found various valid VISAs in my passport and couldn’t decide which one to use) and on my way out of the airport. I kept a slightly amused look on my face throughout which is more or less as a result of the incredulity of the situation. Here is a man who thinks I might have borrowed money to pay for my trip, yet I am sure I earn more than he does in real terms.
Arrived at about 6:10pm Nigerian time, left the airport about 3 hours later, and didn’t get home until 2am or thereabouts – went straight to a small get-together first. Nigerians, I ate rice and plantain even though there was pounded yam on offer.