Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Bring Home An African Next Time"

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via WikipediaBy now people from my homevillage have gone to far away places like the Arab countries and Malaysia to do manual labor. A bunch of them are on Facebook. Like one guy said recently, brother, I can't talk to you right now, I am off to have dinner.

So going to Kathmandu, the capital city, is less big of a deal these days. But back when I was attending school in Kathmandu, it was a big deal. It was an even bigger deal when my father was doing high school in Kathmandu. At least I got to take the overnight bus, he had to fly. There was no other way to get there.

And so it was all known that I was attending school with the crown prince of the country, the future king, the same guy who in 2001 mowed down his family in a palace massacre, but then back then you could not have seen that coming, not by the furthest stretch of the imagination.

When I was home for one of my vacations a neighbor approached. He knew I had just come home from Kathmandu. Kathmandu was this mythical place far, far away.

"Next time you come home will you please bring an African?" he delivered. "I hear they are really black, I would really like to see one."

At that point I don't think I had seen an African in person myself. At college they became my favorite people. They were black, sure, as expected, but they were Third World in every sense of the word, Third World like me.

Third World Guy

Obviously this guy back then imagined Kathmandu to be a place that was so far away it might even have Africans. A few years later I did bring a really, really black guy home for vacation. He was a classmate from a neighboring district at the same school, the same ethnicity as me. His blackness would compete with that of any black/African I ever met.

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