The second most important realization I’ve had since moving to Southeast Asia has been an extremely painful one for me.
I prefer being Black in Latin America to being Black in Asia.
I get stared at all the time in Indonesia because of my complexion. When I reflect back on it, me being singled out for photos, shouts, points, etc…led me to caving in on myself and getting depressed (hence, no blogging). When walking home from work, I started walking with my head down mainly to avoid seeing the open stares.
I felt isolated at work being the only 20 something, single, Black, female in an entire school staff of hundreds of people and isolated outside of work.
I despise being the center of attention among strangers, so intense encounters with people wanting pictures leave me feeling depleted.
After a trip to Borobudur Temple that turned into more than 20 people asking to take pictures with me and/or of me, I’ve decided to document the sheer craziness that is being Black in Asia. Now, I try to take a picture of everyone who takes a picture of me. I think I’ll make a collage because one day I’ll be able to see the positivity that came out of this isolation.