I've just arrived home (?!) from Adelaide City and still wearing this smile that has started six and a half hours earlier in the food court of Rundle Mall.
While I was queuing in KFC, there was this young (possibly 5-year old) Caucasian boy in front of me who was fidgeting around that he accidentally dropped his hat on the floor without noticing it.
A couple of minutes later...
“Hey, mate! You dropped your hat!” I said loudly to catch the little boy’s attention in the middle of the noisy and busy hall. My call was effective; he immediately turned his head and looked at me.
I directed him to his hat that has been resting on the floor.
The little boy rushed and picked up his hat and after doing it, he stared at me for about five seconds. I could see the innocence from his gaze, especially when he moved his sight from my face down to my feet... then back to my face and up to my head!
I smiled at him.
His concentration was instantly distracted by the sound of his name as his mom –now carrying a tray of dinner combo—called him and pouted her lips towards the nearest vacant table.
WHILE THEY WERE EATING, I’m still waiting on the KFC counter and I could see through my left lateral vision that the little boy was still intermittently looking at me, possibly wondering why my hair is black, my skin is brown, my nose is flat, and so on...
I’ve been experiencing this since I arrived in Australia... many times—a speculative stare from a Caucasian child!
When I was a child, I was fascinated by the foreigners who lived in our small town in Southern Philippines. They were the people who established the Christian educational institution- a state college, where I actually finished my high school.
Their body built and size was really different from the locals of Mlang, Cotabato. They have blond hairs, blue eyes, white skin, and a high-bridged nose (unlike mine). They ate strange cuisine and spoke a different language with a very distinct twang! They were foreigners and I considered them a proof of what my Mom had told me that other countries exist.
But after more than twenty-nine years of existence in this world, my idea of being a ‘foreigner’ has changed. Yes, foreigners may eat exotic meals and speak a different language… but they can as well possess black hairs, hazel-coloured eyes, brown complexion and a big, flat nose—because here in Australia I am, absolutely, a FOREIGNER!
-an excerpt from my other blog, the Silent Water
The poultry farmers while waiting for the arrival of the new batch of chicks.
L-R: Australian, Filipino, Iranian, Dutch