Travelling Asia as a “black man”.

Many times while travelling, I have got to realise that there is so much that we actually don’t know about other different races, people and cultures. Being a black man travelling  around Asia comes with a lot of interesting experiences and I am not playing the racial card here.However much not all of them being so nice but still there is always  something funny and good  from being mistaken to be Will.i.am, Eddie Murphy and given the celebrity status and still met people who think I should know their black African friend just because I come from Africa too. The constant photos with me thinking I am some kind of boxer, footballer or actor and not forgetting my favourite Thai kid who ran chasing me thinking I am a big chocolate and she wanted to have a bite and these are just a few of  the many stories but before going any further I have found Asian people to be lovely and nice to me.Here are some the reactions I get and actually this particular one was not an Asian person but I have always come across funny if not pathetic travellers around Asia. Here we go:

  • Stranger: Where do you come from?
  • Me: Uganda
  • Stranger: Where is that found? Now some Asians think Uganda was in the USA while in India, Uganda meant South Africa and a lot of different reactions where one thinks Uganda is a village in the “country of Africa.”
  • Me: I always laugh out loud and still feel much pity of how ignorant some people are.

Now one day we were sitting down in a dormitory in Phuket, Thailand and then this girl (Not Asian) asked me if I spoke the African language. I paused to hear her correctly maybe she meant Afrikaans but hell no, she meant that one language all of the Africans speak. We all laughed then came that silent moment at the lobby and everyone was waiting for my reaction since I was the only black African man there. I just smiled and asked her ” Do you think Africa is one country?” and she thought for a minute and said “yes”. So I realised how ignorance doesn’t discriminate. She seemed  to be so composed on the outside but literary with no brains and I am not being picky here. Then I always get to that moment of explaining myself again and It is always a wonderful thing to travel since it has not been an African trait to roam around so I sometimes get different reactions from the many people who still think Africa is one big jungle as seen on CNN or BBC yet that has never been the true picture of Africa. Africans are not starving as some may think  and actually most of them are farmers so they grow their own food,they own real houses, huge lands and not all sleep in huts and from the side I grew up, they slept in Mansions. Africa is a beautiful continent with an amazing energy , the people are always happy and  they are not as poor as portrayed. I know many Africans who live better lives than many people around the world. Getting back to the reactions I have received around Asia, While I was on a trip in Singapore I met one guy who knew more history about my country than I actually did and still this broke my stereo typing of thinking that everyone in Asia is ignorant about other countries, this guy explained to me things even my mum has never told me about my own country Uganda and I had to do my research and boom! he was right on point. I still believe that as Africans we have been misinformed for years, thinking that people hate us, or they think ill of us but that is not the case at all.That has only given some black people an ugly attitude towards other races and the other races just reacting to our actions and attitudes.Remember that every “Action gets a reaction” send a smile and you will receive smiles and love, be a frown and people will frown and in conclusion, Could it be that all what black people think of themselves is just all in their minds but it doesn’t really represent the other side of the world? To be continued…

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